Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Inspiration: Sewing Trash

Check out this recent post over at iHanna's Creative Space. She's making her Daily Art Cards from her mother's sewing scraps. Fabric trash, she calls it. I love what she's doing with it!

There's something about digging through a bunch of small pieces of fabric that really focuses the brain on the many textures and colors and motifs. When you see a large piece of yardage, you tend to see all the whole, but in the small little bits and shards (as Scarlett and I call those itty bitty bits of fabric) you see the little parts. I think creatively sometimes I focus too much on the big picture and forget to get lost in the wonder of the parts. I need to work on this.

And there's something about changing the scale that makes the ugly into the divine, and vice versa. Sometimes the most hideous design is made up of the most beautiful parts. This is something else maybe I should start integrating into my creative perspective.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Can I be a jillionaire, please??

Then, I could buy all of this yummy new fabric!

Medetai by Hoodie

Morning Call by Hoodie

Recess by American Jane

1974 by Urban Chiks (Don't know if this is a new line or not, but it's new to me so I'm adding to the list)

Sugar Snap by Melissa Averinos

Feel like crying yet? I do. I want ALL OF IT! Alas, no money to buy it, no space to store it, no time to sew it. So I browse, and I curse the money gods...


Sunday, October 26, 2008

The zero calorie cupcake...

Yes, they really exist. All of the fluffy, artificically colored icing you want piled up on top and covered with sprinkles that look entirely too good to eat.

Is your mouth watering now? If so, I'm really sorry. Cause these zero calorie cupcakes are made of felt and corduroy and beads and sequins, and are destined to become little brooches.

My thinking is they'd be awesome little add-ons to a gift, pinned to some ribbon wrapped around a package. These will probably eventually find their way to my Etsy store, but right now I'm just having fun making a hoarde of little cupcakes. So far, I'm up to nine (all are pictured).

I think I need at least a baker's dozen, don't you??

Friday, October 24, 2008

Zapping my energy

So I've realized something the last week or so. I've been kind of hiding out from crafting - from my studio, from blogs, from everything. And yet I keep getting stuff to craft with. And I'm not using it because I'm hiding out, which makes it all pile up into a huge mess. Which then zaps my creative energy even more. But I still feel the need to go out and get more supplies, as if I'm vicariously crafting by just acquiring the supplies to do so.

Anyone else do this? Please tell me I'm not alone.

I've seriously been having tiny little tinges of anxiety as I approach my studio door. It's the same kind of dread I was getting this summer when I would approach my fabric closet. What helped then was purging the fabric closet. I'm not sure that I'm quite prepared to purge my studio yet, but I'm realizing that I need to do something to attack the volume. This would be so much huger than the fabric purge, which took 3 full days to complete. We're talking a whole room here, not just the closet.

I'm thinking perhaps I need to first put everything away (sounds a LOT easier on paper than it will be in reality), then give myself a challenge to use my supplies up and NOT visit a store. I don't have all the details worked out in my head yet, but when I do I'll post them out here. I need the accountability and the encouragement. And who knows, maybe someone else out there is needing to do the same?

Friday, October 17, 2008


Yesterday I had the very responsible plans to clean house and go to the grocery store to buy some healthy food. But my plans took a wild left turn when my sister called to tell me that The Inviting Company was having their annual (or semi-annual?) warehouse sale this weekend.

Of course I had to go! Little girl went with me since the I couldn't find anyone to watch her on such short notice.

So what did I get?

30 half-sheet cardstock invitations for Liv's birthday party
30 half-sheet cardstock invitations for my mother's annual Christmas cookie party
30 half-sheet cardstock invitations for Liv's annual Christmas cookie decorating party
250 large envelopes, sized for the half-sheet invitations

4 packs of large plates for said cookie party, coordinating with invitations (8 plates in each pack)
4 packs of small plates for cookie party
3 packs of guest towel napkins for cookie party (16 napkins per pack)

Pack of small plates and coordinating napkins with a fall print - just for kicks
Pack of orange and black polka dotted large plates - just for kicks
Pack of napkins printed with a gold on brown damask pattern, for collage purposes
Pack of napkins printed with a modern, almost industrial brown dot pattern - also for collage purposes

2 rolls of self-adhesive velcro dots, 1440 sets on EACH ROLL. (One roll is going to my friend Denise, who shares my obsession for office/art supplies in mega quantities.)

11 packs of small cello envelopes with self-adhesive closing. I believe there are 100 envelopes in each pack.

3 rolls of ribbon - 2 taupe and 1 gray. One taupe and the gray had about 60 yards on the roll, the other was unopened with 100 yards
5 spools of embroidery ribbon. They're actually the tail end of large cones of thread, but still plenty of thread for my purposes.

Oh, and some stickers with the letter "O" monogrammed. I grabbed about 20 sheets, with 8 stickers per sheet.
"J" monogram stickers, about 10 of them , to add to an upcoming birthday gift for one of Liv's friends. (Little boy is named Jack.)
5 sheets of colored square stickers for Liv to make her own monograms or other designs

And for this, y'all, I'm happy to say that I spent a grand total of $36. I love me a bargain!

Of course, in order to pay for this bargain I ended up having to wait in line for 2 HOURS. And for the whole 2 hours in line, my little girl was an angel. I was one proud mama when everyone around complimented me on how well behaved she was. I bought her McD's as a treat afterward for being so patient.

**For those in Little Rock, you still have the rest of today and Saturday to get to the sale. Check out the ad in the Style section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby blanket - FINISHED!!!!

I thought I'd post some pictures of the finished baby blanket today. I made it for some friends we visited while on our vacation. Well, for our friends' little baby boy. The design came from Liv's little creative mind, and I burned through some old fabric stash to create the different blocks of color.

The last picture I showed was of the pieced top. I purposely didn't post any pictures during the quilting process because I wanted to have a grand unveiling of sorts. So....


I quilted in the ditch on the logcabin block, and then in straight lines coming out from it in order to simulate the rays of a sun. I alternated the thread color - some lines are stitched in white, others in yellow or orange. The color variations ended up a more subtle touch than what I had anticipated, but I like the result.

Here it is on the back. You can see the thread colors better here.

Another little detail that I added were some free-motion stitched words randomly placed here and there in the field of rays. I looked up the meaning of the little boy's name - Wyatt - and placed those words in the quilt. The words I used were: strong, water, hardy, brave, little warrior.

The words are actually pretty small, maybe 1/2 inch in height. It was NOT easy to quilt. I am so intrigued by people who can make these beautiful free-motion stitched feathers and stippling on their machines. I struggled so much with these little letters. I think it was the weight of the quilt and the friction with the table. I just couldn't get that sucker to move! And if you can't move the quilt, you can't make the stitches. Ah well... That's another project for another day. Meanwhile I'm just really proud of this quilt for baby Wyatt.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

oh yeah, my blog...

I just realized that it's been over 10 DAYS since I posted! I got a little wrapped up in our family vacation, which is a good thing. We got home this past Wednesday afternoon, and now I'm playing catch up and generally being lazy.

The good news is that I did get the baby blanket finished, and I think it's pretty darn beautiful if I say so myself. I'll post pics tomorrow, along with a few more from our vacation...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Williamsburg - days 2 & 3

Well, technically day 2 is of Jamestowne Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield, but day 3 is of Williamsburg proper.

First, Jamestowne Settlement, site of the first permanent English colony. You know, the place where all the people nearly died. Captain Smith and Pocahontas. When I showed Liv the statue of Pocahontas, she said, "Hey, I saw a movie about her..." American History via Disney. Yay.
Before we could walk around the site, we had to get her to leave the Visitor's Center. Not so easy to do since it was raining. Ever since the tornado, she's been scared of thunder. It took three tries to get out there, and she only gave in once we bought her a poncho and promised her a treat for being brave.

Then, we jumped ahead about 150 years to Yorktown battlefied, the site of the final battle in the American Revolution.

Today, we went to Colonial Williamsburg. We got a late start and then left early because it was raining - again. We did get to tour the Governor's Palace, though. Liv's favorite part was the hedge maze. We had to walk it twice.
The Governor's Palace:
The hedge maze in the garden at the Governor's Palace:

And then a picture of Liv looking through a hole in the garden wall. I promise it wasn't posed.

Oh, and progress on the quilt continues. I've gotten all the threads knotted and buried, and am now binding it. I'm a little panicky because I'm realizing that if I'm going to wash the quilt before I gift it (which I really need to do in order to erase my marking lines), then I have to get it all done by Friday evening. Ack! Somehow I think I'll be giving an unfinished gift...