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41  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Bandanna wallet on: July 23, 2007 12:12:09 AM

I needed a new wallet. I couldn't really justify buying a new one when I have tons of fabric lying around, but I wasn't in the mood to go hemming raw edges and dinking around with patterns this evening, so I just grabbed a bandanna and my iron and went to work. Ten folds, seven seams, and two pieces of Velcro later, I had this simple but functional and (hopefully) sturdy wallet.

It took me a couple of hours to make, partly because I was figuring out the design as I went, and partly because my geriatric sewing machine kept copping an attitude. A competent seamstress with a cooperative sewing machine could probably make this thing in less than 20 minutes. Here's a tutorial, in case anybody needs it:

Lay the bandanna face-down on your work surface, fold up one side about 2 3/4" from the bottom, and press a crease into it.

Lay the bandanna face-up on your work surface, grab the end you folded, and fold it up and press it again to make a 2 3/4" pleat.

Lay the bandanna face-down on your work surface, grab the pleated edge, fold it over about 4", and press a crease into it to make a 4" pleat.

Lay the bandanna face-up on your work surface and fold it and press it two more times to make another 4" pleat. When you get done, it should be folded accordion-style, with two 4" pleats and one 2 3/4" pleat.

Lay the folded bandanna so that the 2 3/4" pleat makes a little pocket at the bottom. Stitch the folded bandanna about 1/4" from the left end. Use a credit card to figure out where to put your second seam. Just stick it in the pocket, flush against the seam, and fold the end of the bandanna over from left to right. Remove the card, press the fold, open it back up, and stitch along the crease. This will give you a pocket about 3 1/2 inches wide.

Fold it back up along the seam, fold it over again, press it, and stitch along the crease as before to make the second pocket, which will be about 3 3/4 inches wide.

Fold it back up along the seams as before. Then fold it over two more times. Press it on the folds. When you unfold it this time, you will see four creases in the fabric (two with stitches running down them). DO NOT stich along the third crease. Instead, skip the third crease and put a stitch along the fourth. This will give you a third pocket about 8 1/4 inches wide. Fold, press, and stitch again to make another pocket (this one about 4 inches wide -- perfect for business cards) and an end flap about 2 inches wide, with a seam about 1/4 inch from the right end.

Open out the wallet and put a stitch from one end to the other, about 1/4 inch from the bottom edge. The action shot above should help you figure out where to fold and stitch if you get lost.

Attach some Velcro to the wallet to keep the flap closed. All I had on hand was the sew-on kind, which I tried to iron on with fusible webbing. It didn't work all that well, so I had to sew it by hand (my sewing machine does not like Velcro). It ended up looking kind of sloppy, but I'll get an iron-on patch next time I'm at Hobby Lobby and use it to hide the stitches. If I were doing this project again, I would use the iron-on kind of Velcro.

You could make this look a little nicer by trimming the edges with a little rickrack, ribbon, or bias tape, but I think it looks OK without it, and for security reasons, I sort of like letting my wallet masquerade as a folded-up snotrag. (I suppose if I really wanted to theft-proof it, I could smear it with a little bit of lime-green slick pen.  Shocked  Grin *LOL*)
42  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Mosaic house number on: July 15, 2007 08:36:30 PM
We needed a house number, so I smashed up some old plates from Goodwill and made a mosaic, which I finally got around to grouting tonight:

My husband says it's hard to read, but it's mostly just decorative anyway; if someone really needs to find us, I'll just tell them to look for the little mosaic hanging next to the door. I'm basically just trying to get the hang of smashing up china and using the fragments to make pictures so I can do bigger and more elaborate projects in my garden this fall.
43  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Grateful Monkey on: June 20, 2007 04:27:05 PM
I have no idea why I decided I needed a sock monkey with the head of a Grateful Dead Dancing Bear on it, but reason is seldom, if ever, a consideration in my creative outbursts. They just happen, and I have no choice but to come along for the ride.  Roll Eyes

In any case, meet Owley:

Here's a lightened-up closeup of his face so you can see the ears:

Getting that felt part to come out right was hard, but Owley turned out better than any of the monkeys I've made up to this point.

And here's a closeup of the tiny monkey in his arms, which I made on my lunch hour yesterday, using a couple of fuzzy baby socks:

I was thinking it would be cool to attach monofilament to Owley's arms and legs and turn him into a marionette so he could be a real Dancin' Bear.  Cool
44  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Sock monkeys on: June 19, 2007 02:59:42 PM

After getting on here a few months ago and seeing the Sock Monkey Challenge entries, I was inspired to learn to make my own sock monkeys.

I ordered some Rockford Red Heel monkey socks online and made a traditional sock monkey before moving on to more colorful choices. I bought some funny argyle knee-highs yesterday and made the gangly little guy you see attempting to befriend my rat terrier in the picture above.

Here is a picture of the new monkey snorgling with my first sock monkey, which I made a couple of weeks ago:

I went home on my lunch hour today and made a little pink and white monkey out of some extremely fuzzy baby socks, but I haven't had a chance to take a picture of it yet. I'll try to shoot it and upload an image later.

My monkeys aren't as beautiful as the ones from the Sock Monkey Challenge, but I think they're cute, anyway. I've been kind of dinking around with the design as I go. Once I get all the bugs worked out, I'll make a good sturdy one for my 6-month-old nephew to cuddle.
45  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Wild Things mural (a bit photo heavy) on: June 19, 2007 10:26:22 AM
I've been lurking for a long time and kept promising myself I'd post this when I actually completed it, but since it's been sitting here in an almost-but-not-quite-finished state for three months, quietly waiting for me to come back with a paintmarker and put in the last few details, I think it's probably about as completed as it's going to get for the foreseeable future ... and since the current challenge has a "Wild Things" theme (albeit in a medium I've never gotten the hang of), I guess this is as good a time as any to post my most recent mural project:

The image is from the cover of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," except the colors are much brighter (I was using acrylics, which just aren't as subtle as watercolor, and my young assistants aren't quite advanced enough to mimic Sendak's nuances of color and shading). The original image shows Max's boat to the left of the Wild Thing, but I left that off to keep things simple and to allow room for my desk, which -- as you can see in the picture -- doubled as an incubator for a small flock of chicks this spring. The wall is in my home office, which also serves as a sewing room, art studio, and de facto potting shed.

Here are some pictures of the mural as we were working on it:

I sketched the design on the wall and then painted outlines around the different areas of color before the kids came over, which made it sort of like a paint-by-number set. I used this method once before with a group of children who were painting "stained glass" on boarded-up windows, and it worked very well.

It still needs some crosshatching and a coat of sealer to protect it, but it's basically done. Eventually, I want to staple some chicken wire to the ceiling and run ivy garlands through it to make vines cover the ceiling like they do in Max's room.  Smiley

UPDATE: Just to clarify: The kids are cute, but I can't take credit for them -- I just borrowed them from my friend Terriann for the afternoon, 'cos painting is more fun if you have some rugrats to help you. Smiley
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