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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Two Firsts: Appliques and Quilt! (AKA: pregnancy is another excuse to craft!) on: January 29, 2012 12:23:34 PM
Even though I've been making purses, wallets, and the occasional poorly-fitting dress for years, I've never considered sewing one of my "main" hobbies--maybe because I haven't really tried my hand at many sewing techniques. I just never found myself wanting anything appliqued or quilted, I suppose.
Since I've been pregnant, though, I'm using baby as an excuse to try my hand at making all kinds of baby-related paraphernalia! (Branching out from my usual repertoire of knitted baby sweaters and hats with ears on them.) In my mind, babies are ideal to craft for--the projects are small, quick, and then you have what I assume is a more-or-less captive victim...er, recipient to force to wear/use what you've made (as opposed to cats and husband, both of whom can put up quite the struggle)

So, I present: my first appliques--a set of pillows for the nursery sofa:

They are done more or less following this tutorial (http://sew4home.com/projects/pillows-cushions/946-michael-miller-fabrics-citron-gray-nursery-animal-applique-pillows), minus the piping, because I'm lazy. We're doing a quasi-ocean theme for the nursery (still have to paint the walls) and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out! The fact that the pillow covers are easily removable and washable will be rather key, I imagine.
(HM are baby's initials, of course)

And..my first quilt:

This may be the most basic quilt anyone has ever seen (just stripes on one side, and one big piece of cotton flannel on the other, with binding), but, hey, you have to start somewhere. It's a good thing I kept it simple, because I had no idea how long quilting took! Even just running parallel rows of stitching on this crib-sized quilt took forever (to my impatient mind)! The flannel has little elephants all over it, which I realize do not quite fit in with the ocean theme, but which are adorable nonetheless. Come to think of it, I'm not actually sure what I will do with the quilt, since babies aren't supposed to have soft bedding in their cribs. Oh well. Perhaps I'll think of something if/when my "nesting" instinct kicks in.
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / The Black Swan on: October 31, 2011 04:33:39 PM
A few Halloweens ago I made Bjork's white swan dress costume, and it remains one of my all time favorites. To follow it up, this year I thought I'd go the other direction with The Black Swan. I'm a big Aronofsky fan, and while I didn't love everything about the movie I did love the costuming. I had to remind myself to maintain a very very serious face for photos, for maximal authenticity  Wink Without further ado, here it is:

The cats always want to be in my photos. They are great photo props.

Please excuse the cluttered shelves-o-crafting in the background.

Detail shot

Side by side comparison--juxtaposing oneself next to Natalie Portman is perhaps not the best way to make an unflattering photo more flattering, but hey, my self-esteem is pretty resilient.

I built the dress on an existing black bustier, using tulle, black grosgrain ribbon, fabric scraps from a repurposed skirt, feathers, and rhinestones. The tiara is a cheap dollar store tiara with fabric leaves, spray paint, and more rhinestones.
I tried to make the dress as close to the movie costume as possible, however since I made it wear to a work party I changed the skirt from a possibly-butt-revealing "pancake" tutu to a longer, "bell" style tutu. Doing the black wing eye makeup was one of the most fun parts--I wish I had more costume parties to go to just to play around with black eyeliner more!
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Boarding Pass Wedding Invitations (Picture-Heavy!) on: February 06, 2009 07:19:18 AM
In a natural follow-up to my passport Save-The-Dates, I made mock boarding passes for my wedding invitations. (Wasn't sure whether to start a new thread or just tack it onto the STD thread, but decided since I have all these pictures to go ahead and start a new one)
These were made and sent off in a frenzy of hectic activity right before I left for a month-long clerkship abroad in Shanghai (from whence I am finally posting this project!), and while I would have done a few things differently (mostly fiddled with tiny details) had I had more time, overall I think they turned out how I envisioned them.
The front of the invitations--cardstock ticket holders with our names, date, and the chinese double happiness characters Gocco'd in gold ink. Incidentally, this is the only one for which I did the ribbon accent. It was one of the details I skipped on the rest due to time constraints. I was down to putting ribbons on invites or...packing for my month-long clerkship, basically. Yes, it was just that last-minute.

The fronts of the boarding pass pages--I heavily modified a template I found on theknot to match my corner rounder, printer, etc. The map on page 2 was the product of quite a bit of time spent in PhotoPlus. You can't tell from the pictures (and probably no one will notice) but the pages are perforated like "real" boarding passes.
The backs of the invite pages--I stole the idea for the back of the response card from several craftsters and flickrers, and the page is perforated to form a little response postcard. I'm a little sad that I'm not around at home to get responses as they roll in.
The pile of invites--I used a variety of double-sided cardstocks for the ticket envelopes and you can kind of see how they show through the vellum envelopes. I was pretty excited about getting to use the vellum envelopes (which I had bought on clearance and had been hoarding.)

Now with the invites sent, I just have to shop for a wedding dress...
4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Business Card/Promo Swap (#4) ? on: October 23, 2008 05:30:45 PM
It's been a while since the last business card/promo swap, and I'm all out of goodies and business cards to send out with my Etsy orders! (And I've got a new batch of my own samples and business cards all set to go out, too.)

Anyone up for some more inter-Craftster promotion?

The thread from the last one here:
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Passport Save the Dates! (Picture-Heavy) on: July 12, 2008 11:52:23 AM
After a great deal of (enjoyable!) time spent in front of the computer, in the craft store, and in front of my paper cutter, I've finished the mock-ups of our Save-The-Dates. We'll be married in St. Lucia May 2009, and I wanted to send something fun to inform our small guest list of our plans.
Front inside--there will be a passport-sized pic of us in the blank space to the left of the name/date info.
Back inside

As an enclosure (and because I got too many crafty ideas into my little head) each "passport" will come with a handmade luggage tag stuffed with a Save The Date magnet, like so:

The luggage tags are made with reclaimed fabric from decorator fabric samples, so no two are identical. (Which makes them look kind of mismatched all piled up together, but I think they'll look fine individually with the "passports".)
The photo magnets (sticky-backed magnet sheets + printed-out photos) will tuck nicely into the clear pockets in the luggage tags, and I'll make up little name/address cards for folks to use in the tags as well.

Comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions would be much appreciated--I worry that the middle pages (the light blue ones) don't look quite right, but I'm not quite sure how to make them look more finished.
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / First Purse with InnerFuse, and Technical Questions on: July 21, 2006 09:34:56 AM
I've always held that I wasn't born with the sew-enabling gene, and the making of this purse further proved it. I could have tried to make a regular lined bag but figured it would be easier to make one from a kit (I'm lazy and afraid of turning things inside out through tiny holes.)
I made this purse using some fabric remnants I've been hoarding (yes, even though I don't sew, I hoard fabric. I know, I have a problem.) and one of those handbag kits that comes with a big sheet of double-sided heavy-duty fusible interfacing ("InnerFuse")

blurry detail of the inside:
Further details at the blog: http://crochety.blogspot.com/2006/07/summer-break.html
After making this purse, I have a few questions for you knowledgeable craftsters that I couldn't seem to solve with a forum/google search:

-can you get a satin stitch that looks "solid" (i.e. pretty) with a regular zig-zag machine? if so, any tips?

-can you do satin stitch over an edge (say of a purse) without using stabilizer (i.e. of the tear-away variety) behind it?
Thanks for helping a newbie sewer out, I would really appreciate it!
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Bunny/ Breakfast Mini Tin Advice, please? on: March 18, 2006 07:21:55 PM
I've fallen in love with polymer clay this year and had this idea in my head of making little mini scenes/plates on covered tins, and I came across these little mini tins. I made these:

This one was sort of triggered by wanting to adopt a bunny.

I've been making food-shaped stitch markers for my shop, and I keep wanting to put together things as meals...

This gives you an idea of the size...they're pretty small!
I listed the bunny tin on etsy.
I just put $12 down as the price (it took me over an hour to make it, plus the cost of materials...) but I'm wondering what you guys think about that. I worry that my clay techniques aren't good enough to warrant people paying that price for such a little tin, and it's not exactly earth-shattering art, but at the same time I put a lot of love into these little guys.

Any thoughts or advice on pricing or any feedback would be so so appreciated! (Sorry, that ended up being rather long-winded...I have a tendency towards that...)

Oh--and any thoughts on the photography, too--I'm getting better with it, but still...not a pro!
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Vogue Knitting Subscription on: February 17, 2006 11:23:44 AM
I'm not quite sure if this is the right place to post about this, but I've got an extra subscription to Vogue Knitting magazine coming to me (a very thoughtful christmas present from a good friend, but one I unfortunately had given myself as well...)...would anyone be interested in a swap for it? (It begins with the current Winter Issue) My sincere apologies if this is the wrong forum for this--I just don't want the subscription to go to waste, as I don't have any knitter friends here :-(
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / New Berocco Patterns! on: January 20, 2006 06:31:37 AM
Berocco just put a bunch of new patterns for both knit and crochet up on their site:

There's some of the usual fugly yarn-monsters, but there are actually quite a few cute/wearable items!
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Bamboo Circulars for cheap! on: November 25, 2005 02:47:41 PM
I never noticed until today (they were hiding, hanging from a side rack), but my local A.C. Moore carries a Clover Gift Set that consists of seven sizes of 29' bamboo circulars (7,8,9,10,11,13,15) tucked into a tapestry needle roll, for $64.
Add in a 60% off coupon (since it's Black Friday) and it only set me back $26 for a bamboo circulars which normally go for about $9 a pop!
I have the Denise set (which I love) but bamboo has its own merits.
Just thought I'd alert all you coupon-clipping crafsters out there to be on the lookout (even with the 40% coupons that they usually send out it's a deal!) since this totally made my day!
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