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11  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Jackalope Skirty Bag on: July 02, 2011 12:12:35 PM

I decided I was overdue for a new bag, especially since this winter/fall I had been favoring my oversized wool felted messenger bag, which I had to put away for the summer.  Wool+bare legs=no fun.
I had a skirt stashed to used this tutorial: 

I used an American Eagle lightweight corduroy skirt, size 4 or 6. It had a side zipper that I cut out completely and reseamed the sides  The skirt had a dainty crocheted edge on the hem, which I cut off and used on the straps.  Here's the bag:

The tutorial suggests a pleated bag, ironing and pinning the pleats flat.  My skirt wasn't really pleated, it was very slightly gathered, so I had a bit of a problem getting the same look.  I stitched the bottom, then zig zagged it flat, which helped, and then boxed the corners to help give it some shape.  The lining is really sturdy fabric, which helped give it some structure as well.  I boxed the lining corners too.
I wanted an applique on the top, so I picked out my fabric and fused a heavy interfacing on the back.  Then I printed out a silhouette of a jackalope and used my lightbox to trace it onto the interfaced fabric.  I cut it out, peeled off the paper backing and ironed it on.  I tried hand embroidering around it, and I hated it, so I machine stitched around it for extra durability and to give it a little rougher look. 
I considered adding more to it....vintage buttons or something, but I didn't want it to get too busy, so I let it be.

Here's the inside, I made a pocket in the same fabric as the jackalope....In hindsight, I wish I made it bigger and placed it lower inside the bag.  Oh well. Smiley
Whatcha think?
12  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Picasso Embroidery on: May 18, 2011 10:53:56 AM

I was a printmaking major back in the day....and I love Picasso's work.  I was admiring some of his line drawings and prints and figured, that might be fun to stitch!  So I traced this serigraph, "Head 1946".  Here is a link to the original image: http://www.globalgallery.com/enlarge/29823/
I printed out the picture, taped it to my lightbox and then traced with pencil.  I have to admit, it was somewhat thrilling to follow his lines.  His drawing just flowed so effortlessly and relaxing, and it allowed me to imagine watching him actually draw this image.  It felt a little...reverent, as crazy as that sounds.
Anyway, I wanted to really strive to keep the integrity of the line, so I referred to the picture often, trying to really get the same feel of the drawing.  I used one or two strands of charcoal grey embroidery floss, back stitch or stem stitch for the entire thing.
Thanks for looking!

13  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Durga Embroidery on: April 30, 2011 08:12:47 PM

I found this image of Durga in black and white when I was doing a google image search for hindu goddesses to embroider...I don't know who the artist is, honestly...But I kept bumping into the design and I thought it looked really fun to stitch.  It ended up being pretty addicting, I'm actually a little bummed it's finished. lol

I started out wanting the colors to be shades of brownish red, like it was a henna tattoo, but I couldn't resist adding some punches of color once I got going.  This was really fun to work on, and a great opportunity to try some new stitches I have been intimidated by.  This is my first real use of french knots.  Now that I have the general hang of them, I enjoy doing them!  I tried experimenting with a different number of wraps to vary the size of the knots, which I'm not sure if I like or not.  I have to thank http://www.needlenthread.com/ for being my lifeline during this piece.  I don't know what I would do without those video tutorials! 
I used the herringbone stitch for the crown detail, which is something that never occurred to me to do, because I had no knowledge of it before!  But I'm really happy with how it translated the style of the headpiece.

I started out with the intentions of making this really simple, but it sort of snowballed into a big needlework experiment.  I haven't done too many embroidery projects yet, so C&C are welcome....now I have to decide what to do with it now that it's out of the hoop finally!  Thanks for looking!
14  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / bird nest supply station tutorial on: March 21, 2011 10:48:36 AM
Happy Spring everyone!  
I was reading about nest building supply stations that people make, usually out of mesh onion bags or an empty suet feeder, or simply scattering the supplies in your backyard.  I loved the idea of using tiny fabric scraps, fluff and yarn to encourage nest building in my yard, but the suggestions were just not....crafty enough!  So I enjoyed making this over the weekend and wanted to share my idea with everyone.....

Wanna make one too?


-Attractive woven structure of your choice.
(I found a pack of 4 bamboo plates at a dollar store....but any sort of woven basket or wreath should do.)
-Garden shears
-Craft scissors
-tweezers or needle nose pliers
-Yarn needle
-Yarn or twine (natural fibers are best, especially wool)
-bits of fabric, fleece, cotton batting (no more than one inch wide and six inches long...it can strangle or entangle birds)
-Wool roving
-(I didn't use this, but I read that you can use pet hair too...or hair clippings.  Just make sure hairs are short an unable to tangle around birdie toes!)
-Scavenged twigs, dry moss and brush from your yard.  I used flexible twigs, ornamental grass, iris leaves, tufts of dry grass, soft pine branches, etc....just don't pick from any areas that you know have poison ivy!
-Items NOT to use:  dryer lint, long string, fishing line, anything plastic!  
I also read that birds tend to avoid anything colored bright red. Keep in mind that this stuff might all blow in your yard, so if you don't want to stare at bright blue flannel bits in your shrubs all summer, try something that blends in. Smiley

-Lay some of your long twigs and grass around the circular edge of the plate until you like how it looks. Thread your yarn needle with a long piece of smooth twine or yarn.  Tie an end securely onto the brim of the plate.  Sew large stitches around the edge of your plate or basket, covering the branches and securing them to the plate.  These branches are too large for the birds, they serve as "pockets" to stuff everything else.  Keep the stitches large and really spaced out.

-Weave around strips of cloth and pieces of yarn under the stitches, in the branch spaces, or use your tweezers or yarn needle to thread them into the weave of the basket/plate.  Make them secure enough that a soft breeze won't free the materials, but loose enough that a bird could easily pluck it free.  
-Tuck in wool, fluff, moss, etc, and rethread your yarn needle.  Sew on top of that to secure it in, once again with big stitches.  You can make a star design like I did on the top if you want.  Add as much as you want.
-Thread more yarn and tie a long tail on the left and right side of the plate.  Tie it to a tree trunk securely, out of reach of predators (cats, etc.), in a quiet/sheltered area where you can observe from a window.

I just put mine out this morning, birds are supposed to be really nesting in mid march, so go get started now!  
15  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / embroidering corduroy - advice please? on: March 03, 2011 05:18:21 PM
So I'm fairly new to needlework, and I haven't done any projects on anything that isn't regular cotton or linen fabric.
I bought some corduroy mini skirts at a thrift store with the intent to turn them into purses, and I really would like to embroider on them.  Part of the problem I'm noticing, is the thickness of the fabric makes it impossible to hoop.  Plus I don't want to crush the ribbing on the fabric.  I'm also wondering if getting a needle through this is going to be exhausting and blistering.

The part of one of the skirts I really want to embroider is the waistband, which is doubled thickness.  The other skirt has pleated seams, so even though the corduroy is thinner, the thick seams make it impossible to hoop also.  I also realized that transferring marks on the corduroy ridges might be tricky too. 

So is this as hopeless of an idea as I think, or is there some super secret tip that I don't know yet?  Thanks for reading....
16  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Not so green terrariums on: February 18, 2011 08:42:49 AM
As much as I love plants, my toddler and cats love them too.  They chew them, dig in them, knock them over.  Unless it's hanging from the ceiling, it's days are numbered.  I also moved into a new house without an abundance of sunny spots.  My other house had high light, and the plants that thrived there, kicked the bucket here.  I haven't decided where to hang some low light loving plants yet.  But I did see that my kitchen window sill was a perfect south facing sunny spot, well out of the way of tiny fingers and paws.

My lucky bamboo has been, well, lucky on the windowsill.  So I tried also getting an air plant.  So far so good.  But let's just say my gardening thumb is much greener than my houseplant thumb.  I'm hesitant to try more plants just yet.  But I had my sand, stones, gravel and jars out, and I was on a terrarium roll....

So I made some of these.  They require no light or water.  But they give me my house plant fix.  Plus I like to look at them while I"m working in the sink, which is often, lol.

And here are my curtains I made too....I love the pattern and colors.

Thanks for looking!
17  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / watercolor/charcoal triptych on: August 14, 2010 11:53:42 AM
I made these when I wanted something soothing and simple to hang on our walls...this is in our entry way.  I used watercolors first and then drew on top with charcoal, and sprayed with a final fixative when done.  I've been watching a lot of Nick Jr. with my son, and the dandelion fields on Ni Hao Kai Lan must have influenced my subconscious...lol

Left panel:

Center panel:

Right panel:
18  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Woodland inchies in a decorated frame on: August 04, 2010 11:36:32 PM
This is a set of inchies that I made for Pirate Coley in the Woodland Creatures Swap. 
I have been looking around for ways to display, mount, or frame inchies and haven't found much, so I thought I would share this idea I came up with.


The inchies are done on sketchbook paper instead of heavier watercolor paper, which in hindsight I probably should have doubled up for thickness.  I watercolored the paper, cut the squares, and then used my exacto knife to carve out details from the scenery on a single sheet of a wallpaper sample book. I cut out tiny negative spaces between the trees, leaf stems, etc.  Then I glued it down and embellished with pens and markers.

I found this frame for one dollar in the wood section at Michael's.  I used green and brown watercolors to stain the entire piece.  When it was dry, I set the inchies into the configuration I wanted, and then set them on the table in the same order so I didn't forget...then I used a simple hot glue gun.  I put down a small, high dab of hot glue, and then gently set the inchie on it and pressed it slightly down into place as it cooled.  It allowed me enough time to set the inchie and make sure it was straight.  I considered double sided tape, but I was concerned about it adhering to the wood grain in the long term.  I figured the hot glue gun would be more durable, although I admit i was intimidated!  Since i was going for a more relaxed rustic look, I didn't measure, I just eyeballed the placement and was careful about excess glue and finger burns.

Then I played with some acorns, pine cones, dried curly vines, and fake leaves, and hot glued them into the corners.  I signed the back of the wood frame with a sharpie.  I like how it all pulled together into one piece, so that the frame became an extension of the inchie art.

Comments, questions are more than welcome. Smiley
19  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Help- I need to recon 12 failed shirts! on: May 14, 2010 08:42:03 AM
Ok, here's the story.
I'm a fusion bellydancer, and my group is Sanctuary Fusion Dance Company.  We debuted in the spring, and wanted to order some shirts to sell.  I designed the logo for the shirt, and we chose the tank from the catalog.  The picture of the shirt was a nice deep scoop neck tank that fit well through the body, and was described as being a soft organic cotton.
Well.  The plain men's tshirts we ordered came back just fine.  The tanks on the other hand, were very unflattering.
First of all, the logo is huge, and placed very high on the shirt near the neckline.  The other problem?  The tanks we received look nothing like the shirts in the catalog!  They fit like potato sacks with gaping armholes, and the scoop was much higher.  They actually looked and fit more like men's tanks.
So we complained, and the company insisted there was nothing wrong with the shirt, that it was the same as the picture, and would not correct it for us.  We refused to pay, so they said "we're donating the shirts to Haiti".
We said fine, and declared we were now an internationally known dance company.

Lo and behold the tanks resurface this month.  Apparently, he never sent them to Haiti.  He thought we would buckle and pay for them.  So he just gave them to us for free.
That's nice and all, but now we're staring at a pile of shirts that don't fit.

My solution?  What's a crafty chick to do with 12 free tshirts? Recon, of course! 
The question is.....how?  What? 
Do I make a halter, a stuffie, a handbag, arm warmers, pillow.....I have no idea.  The poor placement of the logo doesn't give me a ton of options.  I'd like to recon and sell them along with our other merchandise, so I can't really fit them to a specific body.  I've never reconned a shirt, so I'm not quite sure where to begin.  I would love some feedback, advice, suggestions, resources, links, etc.  I have 6 Mediums, and 6 Larges.

Thanks in advance... here is a not so great pic of me wearing a size L shirt, pardon my bathroom and the reversed image in the mirror.

20  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Noggin anyone? (organizer needed!) on: August 31, 2009 04:02:26 PM
Yeserooni positooni.  
My name is Luna.  And I like to dance.

I have a 14 month old son and I'm a SAHM.......and man, do I love Noggin.  Moose lets me shower.  DJ Lance gets me through whiny fits.  The collage/cut out animation segments rock my socks and gets me motivated to craft while Evan naps.  I think I like it as much as my kid!

Does anyone else have an interest in crafting around Noggin?  We could make stuff for each other's kids and of course stuff for the "big" kids  Wink.  Muno, Brobee, Moose A. Moose, Jack's Big Music Show, Zee, etc....

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