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1  Herb Garden Markers in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by tresa on: September 04, 2008 11:15:35 AM
I finally managed to put in the herb garden I've been dreaming about forever, so I figured I had to make some pretty plant stakes in to mark which herb was which.



I made these out of polymer clay and armature wire.


Here's them after they came out of the oven and then had acrylic paint rubbed into the stamped letters.


And here's one in use.

I'm pretty wild about them, but I think next time I'd try to handle them a little less. With the stamping and then bending the wire around them I'm not sure how that's possible, but there must be a way.

Thanks for looking!
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2  Super Nephew in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by tresa on: September 04, 2008 11:11:41 AM
My cute little nephew Micah turned five back in May, and because Atti had *just* come home from the hospital and was still on oxygen, I missed his big birthday shindig. I also had no time to make him anything, and I'm committed to giving handmade gifts whenever I can manage it. Particularly to little kids who are so saturated with plastic cartoon toys.



This superhero cape took me about 30 minutes to whip up. The fabric is some kind of a polyester jersey, so I didn't even try to hem anything. I started by sewing the big white circle in the middle, using a huge piece of tissue paper behind the jersey to stabilize it and stop it from stretching. I used fleece I had lying around so once again I didn't have to think about hemming anything. I printed out a giant M on the computer and cut that out of the blue fabric, and then stuck it in place with fusible web. Then I just sewed a quick casing at the top, and used the rest of the blue fabric to make up a tie. Just so I could continue my trend of no hemming, I outlined the M in puffy fabric paint to cover up the raw edges.

I made the tie fairly long since I wanted him to be able to use the cape for awhile, but I also didn't want him to be able to pull the tie out as he was playing, so I sewed through the casing in the middle of the cape. Then he can still gather the cape while it's too big for him, but it won't come out no matter how hard he plays.



Thanks for looking!
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3  Dragonskin Bag in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by tresa on: August 06, 2008 06:39:52 PM
My nephew Micah is totally into knights and dragon action figures. Last Christmas his grandpa got him tons of dragons that were a little on the pricey side for a 4 yr old, so he wanted a special bag for them so Micah would understand that these weren't just any old toys.



I had this weird fabric in my stash. I got it at Joann's years ago. It's some kind of a flannel with a plastic treatment on the front to look like snakeskin.

The gold ridges on the side were a total accident from a lazy attempt at piping, but as soon as I saw my happy accident it totally looked like a dragon to me. The monogram is done with fusible web, of course.

I gave this to him last Christmas, and I just now managed to pry it out of his hands long enough to snap a quick, not great, picture. This one was a total success.

Thanks for looking!
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4  Alphabet Quilt for Baby in Quilting: Completed Projects by tresa on: July 25, 2008 03:19:18 PM
I decided to do my son's nursery in an alphabet/children's literature theme, so I made this quilt for him. It was my first ever completed start to finish quilt and I'm so beyond hooked now.



It was also my first time playing around with machine applique and I'll definitely have to do that again as well. In fact, I loved making this quilt so much that it's one of the very few projects I could actually see myself doing more than once.



I also made a matching bumper to go with it.




For pictures of the whole nursery, you can go to my blog post about it, here: http://reese-dixon.blogspot.com/2008/06/long-overdue-house-tour-day-three.html.

Thanks for looking!
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5  2008's Christmas Cards - wicked early. in Winter Holidays by tresa on: May 19, 2008 11:00:40 PM
I send out homemade Christmas cards every year, but during Christmas of 2007, I was expecting our first kid. I knew that by the time Christmas rolled around again, I would be totally busy and I wouldn't have all the prep time I was used to. So the week after Christmas, when I was still in a Christmasy mood but didn't have anything left that HAD to get done, I made up these cards.


It's just a simple matchbook card, but on the inside I created tabs.



When I finished them I just packed them away with the Christmas decorations so they're ready for this year. Now all that's left is to put a picture on the front and then each of the tabs and they'll be all ready to send out.

A full tutorial is available on my blog here:
http://reese-dixon.blogspot.com/2008/01/preparations-begin.html
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6  Make an Inspiration Wall in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by tresa on: May 19, 2008 08:22:30 PM
Last summer I was at Urban Outfitters and came across a collection of 10 matching frames in a variety of sizes, just perfect for doing a great grouping. I snapped them up and immediately had plans to fill a wall with them. I imagined filling them with great fabrics or scrapbook papers, something really colorful and graphic. Then I proceeded to set them in a corner of my studio and ignore them for six months. That turned out to be a happy accident, because over those six months I completely changed plans and came up with something I am just wild about.

I decided to use them on a wall in my studio, which made me think of using them as an inspiration wall. I love reading craft blogs and seeing magazine clippings and paint swatches and fabric samples all over the walls as one big gorgeous creative mess, but I've never really been successful in using one. Mainly because I don't seem to have enough hard copies of what inspires me. I usually just use my bookmarks folder as my inspiration wall. But thinking on the topic of inspiration walls got me thinking about a different form of inspiration, so I began collecting quotes that really moved me in a creative direction.

Once I selected all my quotes, I braved my limited Photoshop skills and made jpegs of the quotes all decorated up, then had them printed as photos at Costco.


I cut pieces of paper to the sizes of the frames, and taped them up on the wall until I found the magic grouping that made me happy.


I'm so nuts about this. The only thing I would change is that when I had them printed, I'd be sure and tell Costco not to color correct them. For some reason they printed up a wee bit dark. Other than that I'm in total lurve.

You can see all the quotes I've chosen on my blog here: http://reese-dixon.blogspot.com/2008/05/inspiration-wall.html

I've also made them available for download, so feel free to print some off for yourself.
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7  Sewing for Premature Babies in Crafty Charitable/Social Causes by tresa on: May 15, 2008 08:20:37 PM


My son was born 3 months premature and just spent his whole last trimester in the hospital where he was attended to by the most wonderful angelic nurses in the world. It was a terrible time, but the staff at the hospital got us all through it. Really, I cannot express how much I owe them and how incredible they are.

He's home now and doing great, but I wanted to do something to show my appreciation for the exemplary staff who saved his life.

Right now whenever the babies in the NICU need any special items, the nurses go home after working a 12 hour shift, tend to their own family, and then spend their spare time and their own money making clothes and blankets and other items for these babies.

On my blog I've made up patterns or listed specifications for all the items the nursery uses. The items they need most are the blankets they use as isolette covers, and the beanbags, but they'll use it all. And if by chance they get more of something than they can use, I'll find the next closest hospital to give it to.


Isolette Covers: http://reese-dixon.blogspot.com/2008/04/great-long-awaited-nicu-drive.html

Interior Bedding: http://reese-dixon.blogspot.com/2008/05/more-nicu-needs.html

Vests: http://reese-dixon.blogspot.com/2008/05/baby-clothes-for-little-babies.html

Beanbags: http://reese-dixon.blogspot.com/2008/05/baby-beanbag.html

If you'd like to contribute or have any questions, just leave me a PM or a comment on the blog. Thanks!
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8  Re: Clementine Bag from 25 Bags to knit in Knitting: Completed Projects by tresa on: March 14, 2005 02:42:04 AM
I've made a similar bag from that book too and I agree that it is totally flimsy that it can't hold anything well.  May I know what is a chipboard?  Does it help?  Also, how do you make the handles stronger?

Chipboard is a really thin cardboard. It looks like this.
You can usually get this for free from any craft store that sells paper. Paper manufactuerers send it to help the paper stay flat in shipping. When I need some I usually just go to Michaels and look for it underneath their scrapbook paper. It's garbage to them but a purse saver to me!

Step 1: Knit your bag but don't sew the seam up yet (if you can help it. It's easier to work flat)

Step 2:Cut your chipboard to the finished shape of your bag.

Step 3: Spray the chipboard with spray adhesive and stick to the inside of your knit piece.

Step 4: Sew up the sides of your bag.

Step 5: Create the lining. I found it the easiest to just sew up three sides and finish the raw edges on the top. ( I used a serger.) You'll need to do quite a bit of fussing to get the handles to fit, so don't bother trying to hem it properly.

Step 6: Fit the lining inside the bag, fold the edge under and towards the inside, and whipstitch the pieces together.

Step 7: Cut a hole to fit your handle opening, fold the raw edges of your lining under, and whipstitch the lining to the handle.

This technique is good for small bags, but I wouldn't recommend it for big ones. The end result is Very stiff. I'm sure it will relax with use, but any pattern that isn't really structured would look awful. You could try just reinforcing the handles with chipboard and lining and that would probably work too.
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9  Tinsel from knitty (Winter'04) in Knitting: Completed Projects by tresa on: March 12, 2005 03:31:04 PM
This was surprisingly fast and fun. If you can get past the tedium of tying all the strips together, then you're all set. I made mine in a really cool metallic fabric that is green/blue/black depending on how you look at it. Since I chose a different style of handles from the design, I added an extra row of decreases at the top and didn't make the top part (the part that wraps around the handle) quite so long.

I also added a lining to mine since I didn't want any small things to fall out of the bag when I used it. There are some fairly big holes left behind in the knitting just due to the inconsistancy of knitting with fabric instead of yarn. It was really easy to do since the knitting had to fold over on itself to hold the handles. I just had to sew the sides in place after that.

Instead of the brooch, I had enough leftover yarn to make a pocket, so I put that on the front. It's hard to tell from the photos.



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10  Clementine Bag from 25 Bags to knit - Now with Lining Tutorial! in Knitting: Completed Projects by tresa on: March 12, 2005 03:19:16 PM
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570762821/ref=sib_rdr_dp/002-3880921-7242440

I really loved the buttonhole handles that Emma King put on her bags, so I made Clementine, which was supposed to be this bright orange color, but I was using leftover yarn so I made mine white and very small.

I think it looks fantastic, but since I made it so tiny it was totally flimsy. So I lined it with some chipboard and then a fabric lining. Now it's perfect to hold a cell phone, keys, some cards and chapstick.



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