Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I am very excited about them. I just adore the way they came out - as does Isaac. He thinks the figure on the teal tee is him :) The red ones didn't photograph well - but in all truth, I find them the most beautiful. The black on red is quite striking.
These tees are available in various sizes and colors. And more are on the way - including my favorite owl. I hope you enjoy them.
Monday, January 28, 2008
But it doesn't end there. I went on to buy this book as well:
No doubt - these little chickies will be multiplying all over the house this Easter.
Ahhh ... but of course, my paper obsession continued to grow, so I picked up this amazing book as well:
It has become an absolute favorite. I had been visiting this author's blog for quite some time, but though I admired her artwork, I assumed it was beyond my capabilities. Then I bought her book ... and I am taking such pleasure in creating personal collages... and lovin' the results:
She uses fabric in her collages as well (a step I haven't yet taken), so crafting in this way may be the ultimate blending of my two favorite materials. Oh, and paint is certainly alot of fun as well!
So, for those who have written me in the past, to say that they admire my sewing because they themselves are not "crafty", I say ... phooey.. you are wrong. We are all crafty, we all have art to share ... and perhaps you may want to start expressing yourself with some snowflakes ... and then move on from there :)
P.S. More papercrafting books are on their way to my mailbox (of course), so I will be sure to offer up more ideas as I receive them :)
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Though the appliques were my idea, the pattern is from Amy Karol's book: Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I reviewed this book a while back ( I would post the link but can't locate it right now) ... and have completed several projects included within ... but this one is a favorite.
The directions required a little "tweeking", as the pattern sizes must have been misprinted in the book. And though I highly recommend this book for inspiration, it is flawed in its presentation. Basically, as many reviewers have noted, the book needs better editing. BUT, it is still one of my faves ... as the projects are sweet, fun & make wonderful templates for expressing your own creativity.
And, Amy created a wonderful Flickr group for sharing photos of the projects people make with her book (I will post these photos to it today :) Lots of inspiration! But even better than that are the discussions that are posted there as well. If and when someone has trouble with one of the patterns, they can get help from someone else ... or even from Amy herself. Check it out.
I leave you now with some additional pics of the previously mentioned bag:
If you are using her book as well, please leave a comment about your fave pattern.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
So Isaac and I headed over to our best friend's house (Aunty Missy) ... with all the fixins' ... and began to create some masterpieces:
I have yet to produce any sort of tutorial on this blog, but the instructions for for making freezer-paper "screen printed" creations are pretty simple:
* Find or create the image that you would like to put on your cloth.
* Trace it onto the matte side of freezer paper.
*Carefully cut out image.
* Iron freezer paper onto cloth (shiny side down).
* Slip paper or cardboard inside of your shirt (or other material) so that your paint does not seep through.
* Liberally apply textile paint (other acrylic paints will also do) to your template - trying not to create brush strokes by applying pressure - just sort of move the paint around and let it seep in.
* Allow to dry for a couple hours OR blow-dry (we opted to blow dry).
* When dry - carefully peel off freezer paper, then heat set your work by placing a sheet of paper over the image and then iron over that paper. It is important not to iron the image directly at this point...but you may do so later.
* Lastly, ENJOY. And wash as normal.
My girlfriend "screen printed" the most amazing silhouette of her daughter on to a sweatshirt. She did this by using a photo she had taken of her daughter. She simply enlarged the photo on her computer, printed it out, traced the outline onto freezer paper, and followed the rest of the steps. It looks SO great ... and sh was able to carefully transfer some nice detail - like the feathering of her hair, etc. My girlfriend has an amazing way of taking every art project a step further:
She joked that she would apply a silhouette image of each of her children to the rear pockets of her jeans. I think its a great idea! Then her kids would move along to the beat of her booty :)
I hope you all find the time to share in the freezer paper fun. Please feel free to ask any questions, as my directions may be lacking.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
So, part of my weekend will be spent sorting through fabric and reluctantly parting with pounds and pounds of it. And for anyone interested in purchasing some fabric treasures ... you can check out our sale site here: www.estatefabrics.blogspot.com.
Enjoy your weekend.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
And today, by divine intervention, I came across the following quote:
"When people cease waiting for great leaders or prophets to solve entrenched problems and look, instead, within themselves - trusting their own thinking, believing in their own power - and to their families and communities for solutions, change will follow. In traditional indigenous communities, there is an understanding that our lives play themselves out within a set of reciprocal relationships. If each human being in the world could fully understand that we all are interdependent and responsible for one another, it would save the world." ~ Wilma Mankiller
I am now reminded of the power of me (& you), of the beauty of the reciprocal relationships I (we) share with so many others, and of my (our) responsibility to the whole of humanity. I was thankful to have found it today, and thought I would pass along the book title that inspired me so many years ago ...
Mankiller: A Chief and Her People
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
And let me tell you, this is not an easy task. I made it my New Year's resolution to free our fridge and cupboards from anything that contained corn, high fructose corn syrup and any meats that were from corn-fed animals. I decided that this was in the best interest of my family, humanity, and the earth after I listened to THIS program on NPR.
Believe me, I SO knew this would not be an easy task ... especially given that my husband's favorite meals are Frosted Flakes and Salsa on Tortilla Chips. But, he has conceded that in the best interest of our son, he will have to eat those meals by himself - out of my son's sight (sorry Daddy). And I am sure we can do this.
And now, after a couple weeks of searching, I am so glad to report that I have found a new breakfast cereal that is not only corn-free (try to find one and see how hard it is) but is also organic! And - get this - it tastes so good! And if all that weren't good enough ... the box also contains the picture of one of my son's favorite tv characters... Clifford Crunch. Have I hit the jackpot or what ??!!
There is a down side though, and that is cost. These 12.25 oz boxes go for about $4.50 each. But, I have also found a way around that as well. I went to Ebay and purchased 20 $1 off coupons for $3 ... thus saving me $17 on the 20 boxes I am now going to stock up on. Not bad.
Now, if you are still wondering why I would even care to take on this task of freeing our lives of corn, I offer you the following videos to check out:
FOOD NEWS: A Conversation with 'King Corn' Filmmaker
FOOD NEWS: A Conversation with 'King Corn' Filmmaker: 2
FOOD NEWS: A Conversation with King Corn Filmmaker: 3
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Okay, Halis and I may have been the only people left in America who had not yet seen the television hit show LOST ... until this week. (Go ahead, laugh it up ... we are so pop culture deprived). And we are now insatiably hooked. We are attempting to watch all of the past three seasons - via ABC HD Streaming - before the new season's first episode airs on January 31st. This means we are spending ALOT of time in front of our computers ... and it also means that we are dorks. But it is winter here in Maine, and Halis keeps reminding me that it is okay to be lazy this time of year. Of course, he still stacked a couple cords of wood this morning anyway - just for good measure.
I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Before we left the feeders to make our way back home, I thought I would be a “cool” Mom and try to pat one of the squirrels to show Isaac another one of my many talents. To my delight, I was able to tickle the haunches of one very preoccupied squirrel. However, Isaac wasn’t so sure how cool that was … and it only made him quite concerned about whether or not squirrels bite (something he never mentioned before). Oh, the many unintentional ways in which we traumatize our children.
Anyway, we are thankful for squirrels and for the neighbor’s who attract them.
May you enjoy your squirrels as well …
P.S. Day 3 of “30 Days of the Everyday”.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
So, here is a list of the goodies I have obtained ... with some comments on why I love them so ... and some links if you are interested in purchasing your own copies. (Just click on the titles for more info and buying information). Enjoy :
Fabric Art Journals: Making, Sewing, and Embellishing Journals from Cloth and Fibers One of my absolute favorites. The first part of the book gives you all the information you need to get started, including techniques, tools, stitches, etc. All well explained, including visuals. Perfect for beginners & advanced crafters alike. The second part is full of gorgeous projects with step-by-step instruction. All are well within the capabilities of any level of crafter, as it is not so much the construction of the books that is inspired, but rather it is what you do to embellish them that is key. And the last part of the book gives you several pages of examples of cloth books made by others. Lots of inspiration on the possibilites of various embellishment techniques there. I am just wild for this book and am itching to get started!
The Impatient Patchworker: 20 Great Projects You Can Make in a Hurry This is one of those books that should be a staple in any crafter's home. Though it is certainly a beginner's book - it serves as a reminder to advanced crafters of the possibilites of quick and simple gift-making. The instructions are clear and come with detailed illustration of almost every step. I have used this book for making several gifts, including patchworked potholders (not your Grandma's potholders either - these are way more hip), and patchworked pillows (again with the "hip").
Kids Embroidery: Projects for Kids of All Ages I fully intended to give this book to Meaghan for Christmas, but found that I cannot let go of it! I guess the "...for Kids of All Ages" applied to me. There are some sweet and simple craft projects in here that I just have to try. But more than that, the instruction is so well-illustrated that I am going to keep this book as a reference to guide me through the various embroidery stitches that I tend to forget how to do only minutes after doing them.
Quilted Memories: Journaling, Scrapbooking & Creating Keepsakes with Fabric This is the first craft book that I actually read. I mean, I usually just skim these books for what I need, but this book was so intriguing, inspired and well-written, that I was compelled to lay in bed and read the whole book. It is just wonderful. There are some nice instructions for those that want to make similar projects, but the beauty of this book is the inspiration it gives for coming up with your own unique pieces. Incorporating my photography with my sewing has become a goal of mine, and this book gives me basically all I need to get started on doing so. I HIGHLY recommend this one.
Chic Bags: 22 Handbags, Purses, Totes and Accessories to Make My husband gave this book to me for Christmas this year and I was pleasantly surprised by his insight! In fact, just weeks prior, I had been drooling over this very book at my local Borders Bookstore. The patterns contained range from beginner to advanced and all are quite accessible. The illustrated directions are well laid out and easy to follow. And the bags are all quite unique. Some of the fabric choices are hideous (in my humble opinion), but it is not a far stretch for me to imagine the bags in my own fabric choices. And as I am learning, a girl can never have too many bags!Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts If a craft book can be "classy", then this one is. It is very well-written, so well-organized and the photography is absolute eye-candy. The book is divided into sections of projects that are grouped together by how long they will take you to complete: Less-than-2-Hour Gifts, 2- to 4-Hour Gifts, and so on. Gift projects range from Scrapbooks and coasters ... to pillowcases and tablecloths... to stuffed elephants and quilts. All sorts of goodies. All well described and illustrated. Such a great book!
Crafts to Celebrate the Seasons I have to admit that this is my least favorite of all my recent book purchases. And in fact, I did not purchase this one, but rather I mooched it on Bookmooch.com (the other above titles are not available on Bookmooch at this time). I do think Mary Engelbreit's cheerful artistry is fun & whimsical ... and I appreciate it and am interested in incorporating some of it in my new home, but this book just seems downright silly and unworthy of the rest of my list. But I included it for balance ... and it is not without some charming projects - like the sweet mittens in the above photo. I say, borrow it from a library because you won't need it for long. Quite uninspiring, brief and way-too-quirky (the eggshell Easter projects seem ridiculous).
So There It Is! I hope you enjoyed this list ... and I hope you found some gems within it to add to your own bookshelves. I think that I will make this a regular part of my blogging ... sharing book lists like this one. I have an enormous collection and am always adding to it, so perhaps readers can benefit from these sorts of book reviews.
Please feel free to add some of your recent craft book purchases to the comment section as well as some of your own thoughts on the above mentioned titles.
Thank You & Enjoy the Day!