Monday, March 28, 2011

Dress Up 2011...April's Theme: ART DECO

Image From ColorBakery

It is time to announce the theme for April's Dress Up!  Drum Roll......ART DECO!  You won't have to look far to find examples of this style.  Art Deco is everywhere!  Jewelry, architecture, fashion, furniture, fonts, and even hairstyles!  Think old Hollywood Glam...Marlene Dietrich, cigarette holders, The Charleston, and anything in South Beach!

Georges Lapape
Geogre Barbier
George Barbier

You can find additional information regarding the history and essential elements of Art Deco HERE and HERE.  I'll post the Simply Linked Link "thing" on April 1!  Can't wait!

A big THANKS to Rosemary for suggesting ART's going to be a blast!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Make It. Weekend Sewing Projects

I finally made it to my sewing machine!  I was so happy to get the few bag accessories made up yesterday.  I made them with some luscious fabric sent to me as a gift from Cyndi, a fellow member of the bum knee club.  I can't thank you enough for everything Cyndi.  You are the best!

The first is obviously a card holder, the second is a gadget, cash, whatever holder, and the third is actually a passport holder.  Okay, I didn't intend for it to be a passport holder at first.  I started to make a checkbook holder, but I messed up on my measurements and voila, a perfect fit for a passport.  Behold:

Like a glove.  
Here is little sneak peak at the inside of that passport:

That's me.  Look how thick my eyebrows are!  Any guesses on my age here?  

All right.  Do you feel Spring (or March Madness) in the air?  Do you want to make something this weekend?  Here are a few crafty links that may get you started:

Spa Slippers @ Pick Up Some Creativity
Sunhat @ The Mother Huddle

Crochet Straw Hat @ Craft Passion

Summer Slippers @ Lady Harvatine

Vintage Hat @ Hot Patterns (PDF)

Old Flip Flops Made into Slippers @ Craftyness

Have a great weekend everyone!  

One last thing:  


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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Raw Silk, A Fish, and A Decorated Planter

Look at the cool ATC I received from my Blissful ATC Swap partner, Amy of Ruby Moon Art.  The theme this month was to use either all or part of this image:

Amy's interpretation is way cool.  I love the dragonfly she made and adhered to the front.  Very nice.  Thanks Amy!  Here is the ATC I sent:

I used the entire image and transfered it to fabric using gel medium and a clear mailing label.  I ironed interfacing to the back, for stiffness, and then embellished the front with fabric markers, fabric paint, and a gold medal dragonfly after painting a layer of gloss ModPodge over the top.  I hope she likes it!

With the exception of the free motion "embroidery" I did for my March POP Dress, I haven't sewn anything since my knee surgery.  I am not happy about this!  However, I plan to get going soon as I have graduated to one crutch and sometimes no crutch in the house!  I have almost rejoined the land of the living in the last few days.  I've made it to beauty shop, Wal-Mart, and even our neighborhood pond.  Remember my list of Try Really Hard(s)?  Well, knock number 10 off the list:

Mommy went fishing with Daddy and this is the bass I caught Sunday in our pond!  My daughter netted it for me  The weather was perfect and it didn't take long to get a bite.  Fun fun!

Last week was also Spring Break.  My littlest daughter stayed home with me (not that she had much choice) and "took care of me."  I feel bad we didn't go anywhere or do much other than watch movies and play a few games...oh, and eat.  We did manage to get into the dining room and we decorated a wooden planter she got from a home show a few months ago.  We first painted it and then used some stencils to embellish, but we weren't happy with it, so we decided to decoupage it.  Charlotte ripped out different images from some magazines and we went to town.  We are both happy with how it turned out and it was really fun to do!

Ok, I promise a sewing project completed when I write my next post!  Don't forget to check out the March Dresses

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inspired by POP: March Dress Up

March's  theme for Dress Up 2011 is POP Art.  Think Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Richard Hamilton.  Think soup cans, commercialism, and collage.  Speaking of collage, my dress is a tribute to this medium.  I cut squares and rectangles of various papers and then pieced them together, glued them to card stock and then did a little free motion stitching all over.  Next I cut the card stock into the dress shape.  I edged the bottom of the dress with a ribbon hem and then edged the entire dress with a zig zag stitch.  I glued buttons down the front for an accent.  I got the idea for my dress from this "patchwork" corset featured in the March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

I hope you like my POP Art dress!  You can see more dresses HERE.  They are all great!

Before I sign off, I want to tell you about two fantastic giveaways.  The first is at Brynwood Needleworks.  Donna is celebrating her blog's two year birthday!  She is giving away a few of her gorgeous mug mats (remember the mug mat swap), as well as a Target gift card!  You can click the above link or click the button on my sidebar for more information!

The second giveaway is for a gorgeous journal at Bonnie's Designs!  Bonnie has been making journals to take with her on her upcoming trip to Paris.  So, to celebrate her excitement for her trip, she is giving away one of her gorgeous journals!  You can click the above link or hit the button on my sidebar!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Confession

So I have confessed many things on my blog, including my addiction to lip gloss, not being as technically savvy as I'd like, the fact that I think Kid Rock is sexy (in a trailer trash sort of way), and that I walk like a man in high heels.  Today comes another confession:  I start knitting projects and don't finish them.  I'm not sure why, but it is probably out of boredom.  You see, I only make scarves and the occasional blanket or shawl.  Don't get me wrong, I love yarn.  Actually, I was addicted to yarn before fabric.  But, let's face it, how many different patterns can one choose from to make a scarf?  A LOT!  How do I know this, you ask?  Well, I've spent hours and hours searching the internet for the pattern I printed out months ago when I started my latest scarf.  Here comes another confession.  I started knitting a scarf months ago.  Of course, I gave up working on it as I do with most knitting projects.  In the process, I lost the scrap bit of paper I used to write down the pattern stitch!

I decided to work on this scarf last week when I figured out that I can't travel that far from the couch due to my knee situation.  Prior to my knee surgery, I had big plans to get a lot of sewing done.  My master plan:  get an inventory completed and open my Etsy shop.  Well, since I haven't been able to get the sewing machine to my couch, I decided to get my knitting out and work on this scarf.  My husband found my knitting bag, but alas, no instructions inside!  I remembered that it was an even number cast on, a simple four row pattern and yarn overs were involved, but that's it.  I couldn't remember the rest.  I cannot remember where I obtained the pattern.  I searched the history on both computers trying to find the website.  I can't even recall if it is an actual pattern for a scarf or just the pattern stitch, which I adapted for my own scarf pattern.  I looked at what I had knitted so far and thought, "How hard will it be to find this stitch pattern on the internet?"  HARD.  I've searched hours and hours and still no luck.  I even joined Ravelry, a site for knitters and crocheters.  I know it is some sort of lace stitch because of the yarn overs and the "holes" that are produced from this stitch.  No luck.

Guess what?  I found my scrap bit of paper this morning while getting dressed!  It was in a purse I last used months ago!  This purse was hanging in my closet.  I decided to look inside on a whim and there it was!  So, I got myself situated on my couch and started in where I left off.  I knit a few rows and stopped.  After all this, however, I pledge to finish this scarf!  It just might take me until next winter!

I still don't know the name of the pattern stitch since I didn't write the name down on my scrap paper.  Here is the pattern stitch if you are interested or can tell me the name of the stitch, which is in in bold:

CO an even number of sts
K 6 rows
Row 1:  k1, *yo, k2tog, rep from * to last stitch, k1
Row 2:  knit
Row 3:  k2, *yo, k2tog, rep from * until 2 st remain, k2
Row 4:  knit
Rep rows 1 - 4 until length desired

For my scarf, I've used Lion Brand Organic Cotton in strawberry, US size 11 needles and I cast on 18.

Have a great week!

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Friday, March 11, 2011

A Little Progress

Although  I am still stuck to my living room couch/bed most of the time, I did manage to start on my ATC for the Blissful ATC Swap.  The prompt this month is to use all or some of the above image somewhere in the ATC.  I decided to use the entire image, so I transfered the image onto fabric using gel medium and clear mailing labels.  I used this same method when I made the "Sisters" journal jacket, but this time I wasn't sure it would work as this "Raw Silk" image is obviously color and the photos I used for the journal jacket were black and white.  But, the transfer worked fairly well.

I really like how the blue came out.  The gold of the dragonfly is also really cool.  I sized the image to ATC size on the computer before I printed it onto the mailing label sheet.  Now, I'll just need to cut around the gold border and finish the card.  In order to give it some sturdiness, I'm going to iron some stiff interfacing to the backside.  Then I'll cut it to size and sew it onto a piece of card stock before embellishing it further.  All this will have to wait a few more days, however.  I need to get into my studio!!!  The due date for finishing is March 15!  

I want to give a huge shout out thanks to Steffi at Toastie Studio for finding my favicon and putting it back in place!  Actually, my original favicon is probably lost forever since I didn't save it before I began messing about with my blog code and the original photo I used for that favicon was on my old hard drive. So, I came up with a new image.  It was this new image that Steffi used to create the new favicon and code to install it for me.  Steffi also created my new background to match the header I made.  Steffi is multi-talented.  Toastie Studio is a sewing blog, but Steffi also does web design, etc.  You should really click over and meet her!

Thanks again to all for sending the get well soon wishes.  I plan on it!

Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat or Phat Tuesday?

So have I mentioned how I have barely moved from my new "bed," otherwise known as the couch in my living room?  Yes, I feel my butt might become permanently attached to my beautiful sofa.  After my last knee surgery (2008), I recuperated in my spare bedroom, which is on the second floor of my home.  This worked because  there was a television in this room and there was someone always around to bring me drinks and food.  I never really had to tackle the stairs.  This time, however, I have had to be on my own much more and since there is no longer a television in the spare bedroom, I've made the living room my recovery area.  My living room is also only a few steps away from the kitchen, which doesn't help a lot since I'm finding maneuvering on my crutches this time much more difficult!  So, I've pretty much just been laying on my couch watching food shows and drooling over gooey doughnuts, lasagna, and Southern comfort foods like grits and fried chicken!  I have had an epiphany during my recovery:  I must get into better shape before my next knee surgery...the knee replacement!

Seriously, today being Fat Tuesday means the beginning of the Easter season.  To me, this is like a "startover" or a "new beginning" to the year. So, for Lent this year, I pledge to give up sweets.  I also commit to getting fit  while losing 20 pounds!  I plan to blog about my progress as this will help keep me accountable.  Tomorrow (Ash Wednesday) will be Day 1!

I haven't made it into my studio yet, but I have managed to do a lot of web surfing and also make some changes to my blog layout and header.  I made my new header after downloading a freebie "cluster" from Raspberry Road Designs called, Domestic Goddess. I think it brightens up my blog.  What do you think?  In the process of these blog changes, I lost my favicon. I spent hours yesterday trying to redo it, but cannot remember how I did it and can't find any help from Blogger.  I had written myself a bunch of  blogging tricks and tips "cheat sheets," but lost all those documents when my laptop crashed a few months ago.  Any suggestions?  Any and all would be appreciated!  Oh, I added a Flickr Photostream to my blog, too.  I've been adding photos to my new Flickr account, including a few checkbook covers I made before my surgery.

Wow, a long post huh?  Oh, one last thing:  please don't forget to check out the March dresses that have been posted so far.  They are terrific!  I'm hoping to get into my studio by the weekend and start on my March dress!  I'm also behind on my bag for this month's Artful Bag Challenge!  Eek!  Don't tell!

Thanks again for all your well wishes!  I really appreciate them all!



Sunday, March 6, 2011

Inspired By Vanessa Valencia: Mixed Media Painting On Canvas

Thanks for the "get well" wishes!  It's been great reading your kind comments and emails regarding my knee surgery recovery.  My surgery was on Friday and I honestly thought that by today (Sunday), I'd have a few ATCs completed and maybe even a few make up bags sewn.  I was w-r-o-n-g!  The surgery went well, but it took more out of man than I expected.  I did manage to get out of my pajamas today and wash my hair, but I don't think I'll make it into my studio for a few more days.  

I decided to post this photo of my very first mixed media painting (on canvas).  I painted this a few weeks ago after reading about artist Vanessa Valencia in the Autumn issue of Somerset Workshop.  I had never seen this magazine before, but picked it at our local book store.  I am in love with this publication.  Here is the cover photo showing one of Valencia's paintings:

I obviously based my painting on Valencia's ballerina, but instead of book pages for her dress, I used tissue paper.  I combined several of her techniques for my painting, "He Loves You."  I've been drawing for awhile and feel fairly comfortable in this medium, but I've only recently started painting and I'm really not that confident in my skill (or lack thereof).  I totally love how the background turned out, however.  I will definitely continue reading this magazine and trying these techniques! 

Have a great week everyone!  I'll catch up with you all soon!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Treasure Barn ATC Swap: Two Fabulous Cards

Just a quick post to show off the ATCs I received from my Treasure Barn swap partner, Tiffine!  February's theme was Butterflies.  Isn't this ATC awesome?  I adore it!  Tiffine said she had so much fun making this, she decided to make another one.

This is cool, too!  Thanks so much Tiffine!  Unfortunately, Tiffine doesn't have a blog, so feel free to leave her some kudos right here!

Here are the two ATCs I sent to Tiffine:

I hope she likes them!

Please don't forget to take a look at the dresses on parade for March's Dress Up! The inspiration:  POP Art!

As some of you know, I am scheduled for knee surgery Friday.  I don't plan on being down long, however!  I suspect only a few days off my feet and I'll be back at it!  Well, maybe more than a few days, but I will definitely be sitting up and surfing in blogland!  

Take care everyone and I will see you soon!