Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange

In my last post, I told you a little about the Craftaholics Handmade Gift Exchange.  Today, I am super excited because I get to show you the gifts I made for my partner, Meaghan!  But first, let me say, "thanks" to Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous for hosting this exchange.  Through her, and the gift exchange, I "met" Meaghan!  We've been corresponding for the past several weeks and I feel I've made a true friend!  The photo at the top of this post is of the journal cover I made for Meaghan.  I used TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) to transfer the vintage lady image.  I embellished the image with small beads.  I tea dyed the doily and attached it using a vintage button.  By the way, I sewed the journal cover to fit a standard sized composition notebook.  If interested, leave a comment or send me an email and I will detail the specific dimensions and sewing directions.

Besides the journal cover I sewed.  I tried my hand at a little jewelry making.  You might remember I tried making a dictionary necklace charm a few weeks ago using Dimensional Magic Mod Podge.  That project didn't exactly turn out, but for Meaghan's charm, I used better quality paper and a different kind of bezel.  I also added a few bits of bling!  This time, success!


Again, I'm so happy I participated in this gift exchange.  It's been wonderful getting to know Meaghan, who lives in one of my most favorite places, North Carolina!  I'm so pleased that she likes the gifts I made for her and I am excited to see what she has made for me!  My package is on its way to my neck of the woods.  I will post about it when it arrives.  In the meantime,  please jump over to Craftaholics Anonymous and have a look at all the fabulous handmade gifts made and exchanged all over the country!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) Project

Where to begin?  I've gone nearly another week between posts!  I'm afraid I've been a slacker blogger of late.  I'm sorry.  I promise to get my blogging act together!  So what have I been doing this past week?  Well, besides the torture, I mean, physical therapy, I organized a birthday party for my now seven year old daughter!  The party was a success...even the cheetah print cakes!  I also got a bit of sewing done.   I  completed a couple of projects for my Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange partner.  Unfortunately, I can't show you what I made for her just yet, but I can show you a few other sewing gifts I've made this past week.  Be sure to check out all the handmade gifts exchanged at Craftaholics Anonymous in the coming weeks!  My partner should be receiving her gifts soon!  I hope she loves them!  I can't wait to see what she has made for me, too!

A Fairy Journal Cover

Spaceship Ear Bud Case

Spaceship Ear Bud Case (back view)

I made the Fairy Journal cover for my friend, Molly.  (I hope she isn't reading this post!)  I used TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) to transfer the fairy image.  I must say, I was pretty impressed with TAP.  The image transferred to the canvas fabric perfectly!  I embellished the image using beads and embroidery.  I made the ear bud case for her little boy, Tucker.  I found the pattern and tutorial for the case at Dog Under My Desk blog via Craft Gossip.  I think it turned out cute and it was really easy, and quick, to sew.  These are great for using up fabric scraps and would make great stocking stuffers, too!

For all you readers in the United States, have a terrific Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your day of turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and of course pumpkin pie!  I made a "practice" pie a few days ago...


I also made a fantastic meal of chicken and dumplings this week.  The recipe would also be great for your leftover turkey.  

I leave you with my mom's recipe for awesome dumplings:

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
pinch salt
flour until stiff
Drop in boiling soup and cook for about 15 minutes

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ups and Downs

Geisha Girl Cosmetic Bag (Flat Bottomed)
Surfer Girls Cosmetic Bag (Flat Bottomed)
Wow!  It's been awhile!  I've been MIA for over a week.  I cannot say the reason for my absence is that I've been busy creating, sewing, baking, or doing anything fun.  In fact, the only thing I've been busy doing is physical therapy.  Having this new knee is a lot of work!  "They" said I'd have ups and downs in my recovery.  The last couple of weeks have been full of "downs."  I've been going to torture therapy sessions three times a week, which actually does help, but geesh, I'm ready to be back to normal!

When not at therapy (or napping), I have been working on a few projects, mostly presents for upcoming birthdays and Christmas.  I made the two image transfer cosmetic bags above and added them to my Etsy Shop last week.  I've completed half of a poncho I've been knitting for my daughter.  Her birthday is in a couple of weeks.  I've also done a little more freezer paper stenciling.

This time, I used sparkle acrylic paint mixed with textile medium to create fabric paint.  I've never tried this technique before.  I think it worked pretty well, although the fabric is a little stiffer than had I used regular fabric paint.  This t-shirt is for my step-daughter, Samantha.  She is involved with a dance troupe at her college.  I hope she likes it!

A few nights ago I read a jewelry tutorial at Marla Plain and Small.  Marla's tutorial describes how to make jewelry charms using Dimensional Magic Mod Podge.  I tried the technique using a silver necklace bail and paper I cut from a thesaurus.

The Dimensional Magic is actually some pretty cool stuff.  It really does add dimension and the charm would have been really cool had I not used such a thin piece of paper.  I think the poor quality of paper is the reason why the words on the reverse side can be seen.  I will definitely try this again, but I will use higher quality paper, maybe even laminated?  If any of you have used this product, let me know.  I'd love some pointers!
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Still Wild: Fusing Plastic!

In my last post, I managed to "build stitched layers" successfully!  So, next up to try out of the Sew Wild book is Fusing Plastic! Author Alisa Burke writes that "plastic bags are easy to transform with heat."  "When fused together, they create a versatile and strong surface that you can paint, alter, and use in mixed-media and sewing projects."  Burke goes on to say that she likes to use Target bags for her plastic fusing projects.  Unfortunately for me, I could only find one of these bags in my house.  What can I say?  I'm more a Walmart shopper.  I have a million Walmart bags, but these bags are mostly all white (and boring), so I decided to use a few plastic sacks from my daughter's favorite store, Justice.



The instructions for this technique begin on page 68.  There are basically 6 steps in this process.  First, collect your plastic sacks and cut the bottoms and the handles off.  Next, stack the bags on top of a scrap piece of fabric.  Smooth out any wrinkles and then place another piece of scrap fabric on top.  With your iron on low, "press slowly back and forth across the surface."  Once the pieces are fused together, remove the scrap fabric pieces and your fused plastic is "ready to stitch or paint."

So, was it really this easy?  Yes, for the most part.  However, I think because the Justice bag plastic is heavier or thicker than that of Target or Walmart bags, the low setting on my iron didn't cut it.  I had to crank it up a bit and press relatively hard to achieve fusion.  Using a zigzag stitch and hot pink thread, I made a quick wallet using my fused plastic.

I didn't plan it, but I like how the words, "be positive" and "share your light" ended up on the inside of the wallet.  Pretty cool huh?

Okay, another Sew Wild project completed!  What's next?  How about glue resist?!  Sounds fun!

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