Monday, February 28, 2011

March Dress Up: POP Art

Welcome to March's Dress Up!  Please link up and join the Dress Parade!

For more information regarding March's Dress Up 2011 theme, please click HERE.  For more information on Dress Up 2011, click HERE.

Thanks to all participants and viewers!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Journal Jackets...A Tutorial

Happy Saturday!  Today I'm posting the Journal Jacket Tutorial I wrote several weeks ago for Tutorial Tuesday at Vintage Dragonfly.  I've decided to post it here in case you missed it over at Joanne's!  Enjoy!

I call them, "Journal Jackets."  They are actually book covers, or jackets.  You can use them to cover one of the Twilight books you are reading in order to avoid the weird looks by coworkers in the break room.  Or, you can actually cover that journal you bought for $3.00 because it has a picture of a too cute cuddly kitten on the front.  Whatever you decide to cover, here is my quick tutorial for making your very own "Journal Jacket."

Outside fabric (the main cover); I used a decorator weight patterned piece.
Rectangular fabric scrap for "title."  I used an off-white silk-like fabric because it seems to distort the stamps/fabric ink the least.  NOTE:  The fabric really isn't silk, but I'm not sure what it is exactly.  I will refer to it as "silk" throughout the tutorial.
Fabric scraps for the image transfers.
Sewing machine and coordinating thread
Gel medium and other image transfer supplies, including images
A book or journal to cover

First, you'll have to do some measuring.  Just between you and me, I suck at taking measurements. Yes, it's true, even though my first love is sewing, I am TERRIBLE with my ruler!  So, I tend to eyeball things a lot.  For your journal jacket, however, just set your open book on a piece of paper and draw around it with a pencil.  Now, you'll just need to add enough to each side to make the inside flaps, which hold the fabric onto the book.  You'll also have to add enough to the length (and width) for the seam allowance.  I use about a half an inch all around for the seam allowance.  I added about 3 inches (total, including for the seam allowance) for each inside flap and about 1 inch at the top and bottom.  Remember, you want to be able to get your journal inside the cover, but you also want the cover snug enough to hold the book.
NOTE:  If the book you are covering has a paper jacket, use it to begin your measurements..just add a couple inches to the width  for the flaps and seam allowances.  Don't forget to add an inch or so for the length, too.

I usually give myself a little more wiggle room.
 Image Transfers 
Now that I have a pretty good idea the total size of the jacket, I can "close" it and figure out how much space I will have to embellish the front cover.  For this particular jacket, I decided to use three of my favorite vintage photos.  I gathered my image transfer stuff and got busy.

I'm still a beginner at this image transfer process so I've been experimenting with different methods.  I've found the most success using transparencies.  For this project, I printed the three images onto one full sheet of clear mailing labels.  Sidenote:  transparencies are expensive.  I've tried to get as many images onto one sheet as possible in order to not waste an entire sheet for one photo.

Okay, back to the tutorial.  Using a sponge brush, place a thin layer of gel medium to the spot where you want your image to transfer to.  Now cut out your image, place it face down on top of the gel medium you just applied and burnish it using a brayer or spoon.  Remove the transparency and your image should now be on your fabric.

Allow the transfers to dry completely.  Next, I decided to jazz up the images by hand coloring or enhancing them with fabric markers and pastels.  Adding color to the black and white images reminds me of vintage photos that have been hand colored.  I really love the look!

If you don't want to color the images, don't!  There really aren't any rules here!  If you do add color, be sure to set the colors with your iron.  A good idea is to place a piece of tissue paper on top of the image while ironing and don't slide the iron around as this can smudge the ink.  Once the images are dry, distress with distressing ink if desired.  I desired, so I did.

Separate each image by cutting them out of the fabric.  Place each image onto your silk front cover rectangle.  Determine the best placement.

Note that the silk rectangle is resting on top of the outside fabric.  I frequently check on placement and size before actually sewing things together.  I know, maybe if I measured better, I wouldn't have to do this so often.  Once you are happy with placement, sew each image to the rectangle.

Now it's time to embellish your silk-like rectangle even more.  I kept it fairly simple and decided to adhere a fabric flower and button to the top and then stamped "My Story My Life" with alphabet stamps.

I used a scrap of the outside fabric to make the flower and then just sewed a button into the middle of it.  Next, just sew the button onto the rectangle.  Easy peasy.

Secure Rectangle, Sew Hems and Finish 
Now, secure your rectangle to the outside cover fabric.  Using your book as a guide, double and triple check your placement before sewing.

Now measure (or eyeball) again, iron and then sew a double hem on the top and bottom of the outside fabric.

Now for the moment of your double hem on the inside flap and then sew the flaps down.  These are the "pockets" that hold the book cover and back.

Voila!  Your own super cute...and personalized...Journal Jacket!

I hope you liked this tutorial.  If you have any questions..or I failed to be clear on something, please do not hesitate to email me!  If you decide to sew one of your own, please let me know!  I'd love to see them!

Thanks so much to JoAnne at Vintage Dragonfly for asking me to write a tutorial for her Tutorial Tuesday! I am very humbled to be a part of her lovely blog and am forever grateful for her invitation.



Monday, February 21, 2011

February Blissful ATC Swap: LOVE

The February ATCs are being posted by the Blissful ATC Swappers.  The above is the ATC I received from my swap partner, Marilyn.  Isn't is gorgeous!  I love the little crochet heart!  Obviously, "Love" is this month's theme.  And I love this card!  Marilyn's blog is beautiful, just like her ATC.  It's called Busy Martha..and she is busy!

Here is sneak peak at the card I sent Marilyn.  I'm not sure if she has received it yet.  You can also see more ATCs at the Blissful ATC Flickr Page.

I based my ATC on the painting, Love, by Gustav Klimt.  Speaking of Klimt, there are still February dresses being linked up HERE.  Liza just linked up her fabulous dress, which she BEADED!  It's awesome.  Please check out all the dresses.  Reminder:  March's artist inspiration is Pop Art!  



Sunday, February 20, 2011

March On to POP ART: Dress Up 2011

Richard Hamilton. Just What Is It That Makes Today's Home So Different, So Appealing? 1956

Drum roll, please......POP Art!  Yes, the theme for March's Dress Up is Pop Art!  Think Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein!  Imagine soup cans and Marilyn Monroe!

Andy Warhol. Marilyn Monroe 1962 

Jasper Johns. Flag 1954-55

Roy Lichtenstein. Drowning Girl 1963
The Hamilton collage at the top of this post is considered to be the first work that can be called an "unequivocal statement of pop art."  In other words, this piece pretty much started the movement.  The Pop Art Movement can be summed up simply:  Bring art back into the daily lives of people.  It viewed commercial culture as its raw material, an endless source of pictorial subject matter.  Pop Art was an expression of the optimistic spirit of the 1960s that began with the election of John F. Kennedy and ended at the height of the Vietnam War.  You can find a lot more information related to this movement HERE and HERE.  You'll also find more examples of the artists' works.

I know you will enjoy this theme!  Let your imaginations run wild!  The Simply Linked link will be up and running with the March 1st post!  I can't wait to see the dresses!

There is still a little over a week left in February.  That means you can still post your Klimt inspired February dress HERE!  If you aren't participating in the Dress Up, that's okay.  You can still click over and have a look at the dresses.  The dresses inspired by Klimt are fabulous!  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Beautiful Mug Mat From Canada

Look at this beautiful Mug Mat!  Margaret, from her blog, The French Bear, sent me this wonderful mat all the way from Canada.  Isn't it gorgeous?!  The colors are beautiful...greens, tans, and pinks.  The details are amazing.  And look at the fabulously creative pocket:

Inside the pocket is a packet of tea!  I adore this mat!   Look at the backside of the mat.  It's just as beautiful as the front!


That's not all, folks!  Along with the mat, Margaret also sent a fantastic velvet heart and gorgeous post card.

Thank you thank you, Margaret!  I adore everything!  You were right, Donna, making these quilted mug mats is addictive!  The swappers' mats that are posted on Donna's Flickr page are so great.  I can't wait to see more as more of them make it to their partners.  I sure hope Margaret likes the mat I made!

Toodles for now!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blogiversary or Blog Birthday? It's MINE!

Is is Blogiversary or BlogBirthday?  Whichever, it's MINE!  Actually, my one year blog birthday or blog anniversary was Saturday..  Can you believe it?!  It's been a wild and crazy year.  I've learned so much and  "met" so many fantabulous people!  I know this second year will bring even more fun and new, exciting artistic endeavors await!

You might remember, my Try Harder #6 was to open my Etsy store to coincide with my anniversary date, but, alas, I'm a little behind schedule...such is a common theme in my life.  So, I haven't opened my store yet, but I have been working on a bit of an inventory.  What do you think:

I know there are a ton of handmade purse-type items and sellers on Etsy, but I think there is room for one more.  Right?  The above is actually a checkbook cover and a matching coin purse.  Would you buy these?  Come on, be honest.  I would.

I've been working on more inventory items, to include more checkbook covers, purses, pouches, and bags.  I've also been working on ATCs, the artist inspiration for March Dress Up, and my Mug Mat.  I've actually finished my mat and it's on it's way to my swap partner.  Once Margaret at The French Bear receives it, she will post a photo as I will when I receive her's.  It was first real quilting project and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I can't wait to receive a mat from Margaret.  Her blog is just gorgeous.  You should click over and check it out!

Have a super Valentine's Day and a great week everyone!  I'll talk to you soon.


Friday, February 11, 2011

February Artful Bag Challenge: Altered Bag

What do you think about "Patchwork Train Case" for the name of my first ever altered bag?  I signed up for the Artful Bag Challenge over at Frosted Petunias and this month's challenge is to alter an object into a bag.  In other words, take something that isn't a bag and make it a bag.  So, I took a small wooden chest I found at Joann's and transformed it into a train case.  Well, a train case for Barbie.  (It's pretty small).

I started by cutting narrow strips of fabric and then used Mod Podge to adhere them to the box.  I covered every side of the box and then painted the inside edges with black acrylic paint.   I smoothed the back of a heart button and "super glued" it onto the outside of the gold latch.  I used a "stem" from an old bunch of fake flowers for the handle after a gold paint touch up.

I really like how the shiny Mod Podge made the fabric strips look.  I painted on several layers of the stuff and that made the fabric look shiny and a little leathery.  Which, is kind of the look I was going for originally.  I knew I wanted to make a train case-like purse, but struggled with how to make it appear like leather.  I actually began this project using a box that one of my favorite teas came in, but I wasn't pleased with my faux leather painting job.  So, I scrapped that version and began again.  I decided these colors, plus the heart, was appropriate for February...Valentine's Day!  

Please go over to Anna's Blog and check out the other Altered Bags.  They are all so amazing.  I am so impressed with how creative those ladies are!

Speaking of creative ladies, please don't forget to have a look at the  February Dresses on parade.  They are also super fabulous.  February's artist inspiration is Gustav Klimt and the dresses are spectacular.  I am working on the details regarding who or what artist inspiration we will have for March.  I think everyone will love it!

Have a super weekend everyone!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Show a Little Blogger Love

You blogger ladies out there probably remember when you first started blogging and wondered, "Is anyone out there?"  "Are you reading what I write?"  For most of us, it takes awhile to "get established" as a blogger.  Do you remember the first comments and emails you got after you started blogging?  They made you feel good didn't they? This all said, I'd love love for you to visit Liza at her brand spanking new blog called, Mackomics Studio!  I met Liza a few months ago at an art show.  You might remember I bought this awesome card:

By the way, I kept this card for myself!  Liza also participates in Dress Up 2011.  Her January dress was amazing.  I can't wait to see what she does with Klimt for February's dress!

To celebrate her new blog and Etsy Shop, Liza is having a super giveaway!  Just head over to her Blog and leave her a comment for a chance to win one of the fabulous items she has in her shop.  It would be great if you became a follower, too!  Here's a little teaser of what you could win:

 Aren't they awesome!!!  Hurry over to Liza's now because her giveaway ends Friday night!  Just in time for Valentine's Day!!

Thanks everybody.  Let's show Liza a some love from her fellow awesome blogger artists!



Monday, February 7, 2011

Blogger Help Needed

Hi, my name is Angela  I am not tech savvy or remotely computer geeky.  It has been so long since I messed with my blog layout, etc., I thought I could tweak this or that in Blogger a bit myself, but I thought...WRONG!  Now, I need your help to find my blog feed.  I am asking any of you readers ("followers") of my blog to check your Blogger dashboard and see if it is showing updates from Sew Loquacious.  I went into my settings and removed the url address from Feedburner, so maybe now the updates will post on dashboards????

The most recent post (before this one) was about the winner of the Sisterhood Journal Jacket, Connie, from Stamp Gram.  So, if I've done this correctly, you should see that post as well as this post in your dashboard.

Please let me know via comment or email.  Thanks.

Since I hate a post without pictures, here is the snowman my husband made yesterday.  Since we aren't used to a lot of snow in these parts, he's gone crazy playing in the snow!   Note the igloo in the background is still there.  

Thanks for your help everybody!



Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Winner Time!

The winner of the Sisterhood Journal Jacket is....insert drum roll here.....

For those of you in my age bracket, this may be difficult to see.  If that's the case, here is a close up:

Congratulations to Connie AKA Stamp Gram!  I hope you like the jacket! 

Thanks to all who left such nice comments about my Journal Jacket.  They are all so appreciated.  A big shout out to Jaclyn for drawing the name out of the hat...sorry, no big technical computer generated drawings at Sew Loquacious...we're old school 'round here!  (Or just not so technically savvy?)



Friday, February 4, 2011

My February Dress Up 2011: Mada Primavesi

Dress Up 2011 has been so exciting and we are only two months in!  January began with Impressionism and the dresses made were spectacular!   February's artist inspiration is Gustav Klimt!  I've chosen his Mada Primavesi as the source of inspiration for my dress.  Klimt painted Mada, the nine year old daughter of a industrialist banker, in 1912.

I really enjoyed creating this paper dress.  I started with a gray piece of construction paper, which I sponge painted with very pale pink, white, gray, and on top, a pearlescent white.  Considering this is the part of the dressmaking that I struggle with (the background) the most, I think it turned out great.  Then I hand painted small clay flowers, which brought back memories of cake decorating flower making times.  Less mess, though if you can believe it!  I painted a coffee filter and cut it into strips that I pleated for the ruffles.  I added the yellow ribbon to the neck and hemline.  Tooting my own horn, I think this is my best dress yet! 

Truth be told, I started out using Klimt's painting, Woman in a Hat and Feather Boa, as my inspiration.  What I like most about the painting is the color of the dress and hat.  It is a really dark blue.  A lot different form Mada, huh?  My dress, however, actually turned out flat, literally and figuratively.  I will spare you from seeing the dress, but I do love the hat I made.

I couldn't figure out how to make the hat two dimensional because I knew I wanted to use feathers, so I made it 3D.  Hence, Ariel is modeling it for the photo.  Now, how do I put it in my ATC/Paperdresses scrapbook?  I'll have to give Ariel back to my daughter eventually I am sure.  Right?  

Speaking of Charlotte, remember this photo of her in the igloo I posted last week?

Well, we've added on.  After this week's storm, we've been able to add on a patio, a walk in closet in the master bedroom, and a second bathroom!  Brr.

Thanks so much for all the sweet comments and emails regarding my Journal Jacket tutorial that Joanne at Vintage Dragonfly posted on Tuesday Tutorial.  There is still time to enter for a chance to win my Sisterhood Journal Jacket, too.  Just leave me a comment HERE.  A winner will be chosen randomly Saturday!  

Don't forget to check out the February Dresses as they link up.  You'll find the post with February's Dress Links HERE.  They are all great.  I can't wait to see more!!



Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Happy Tuesday!  I'm so excited that it is Tuesday and February 1st, I almost can't stand it!  Guess why?  Okay, the first reason is that Joanne, from her beautiful blog, Vintage Dragonfly, asked me to participate in Tutorial Tuesday!  Joanne hosts guest bloggers every Tuesday and today is my turn!   So, please go over and read my tutorial on creating a Journal Jacket.     While you are there, you'll be able to check out Joanne's awesome creations and read other tutorials as well!  

I was truly honored when Joanne contacted me and asked me to participate.  She is a wonderfully talented artist and I am humbled to have my work displayed alongside such gifted artists..  In celebration, I am having a giveaway!  Yay!!  Background info:  I "met" Joanne via the Bloggerette Sorority Sisters several months ago.  Coincidentally, the Sisters, specifically Debi, graciously took the helm of the sorority from our "founder," Karen, and started our own blog.  Okay, so what's all this sister talk have to do with my giveaway?  Well, the giveaway "prize" is a Journal Jacket (pictured above) I made that simply says, "Sisterhood."  

To win this jacket (book cover), just leave me a comment at the end of this post!  That's it!  I'll pick a winner randomly on Saturday, February 5th.  Oh, and please visit Vintage Dragonfly and the new Bloggerette Sorority blog!  Consider becoming a sister!

Now, for the second reason I am excited today:  It's the start of the February dress parade!  I've posted a "Simply Linked" tool for all you fashionistas to link up your dresses to your blogs!  You'll find the Simply Linked HERE.  I am so excited to see all the awesome dresses you have created using Gustav Klimt as your inspiration!
NOTE:  I've chosen to use Simply Linked for our dresses because Linky Tools has started charging for their service.

I hope you all have a fantastic day!



February Dress Up 2011: Gustav Klimt

Welcome to February's Dress Up!  Just add your blog to link list!  I can't wait to see your creations!

If you don't have a blog, please email me and I will get your dress posted!