Sunday, May 1, 2016

Me Made May:

Ok, I do not have enough clothing sewn or knit for an entire month of garments, especially in May when it is a lot warmer.  If it were Me Made November, I could regale everyone with handknit socks, sweaters, scarfs and shawls, with winter skirts and leggings.  I've never really found what I like to wear in the warmer months. I still work in an air-conditioned hell (the cold, not the job) where I feel like I should still be wearing winter clothing, only to go outside to the summer months. Stores all show sleeveless dresses and summer play wear that isn't suitable for work or the sub arctic office conditions.

However, I can easily do a Me Made May with jewelry, with some clothing thrown in during the event.  I'm not sure if that is ok, but I'm going for it!  To me, this is an event to challenge you, and so i'm game.
linen Empire-waist dress
Today I wore a J.Jill dress with a white sweater, and an enamelled necklace that I made.

The cord is hand painted fabric from the Design Outside the Lines retreat that I attended in September in Taos, and the medallion is from the enameling classes that I attend.  The strips of color on the medallion are very fine shards of colored glass that melt when you put the piece in the kiln.  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Two Classes:

With the holidays being over, one turns to organizing. I've always thought it is interesting that we have such an abundance of excess from Thanksgiving to the New Year and then suddenly, everywhere we turn it is either diet, exercise, resolutions and getting organized. What to do with a New Year? How do we shape up and accomplish all that we should?

Well for me, my thoughts turned to where in the heck did all this yarn-fabric-beads come from? Surely it must multiple while I'm not looking, so when at the quilt shop, I signed up for a monthly get organized "club", which consisted of sewing various organizing projects over the year as you buy more fabric etc. to make them :)   The first one was the first Friday in January, and I can say i'm pleased with the project and it is finished. Stash and Dash.  The first one is ok, I plan on making another soon, i'd love to have one for travel, one for sewing classes, one for embroidery classes and then one for knitting supplies, but that may be too much organizing for me. The next class is the pattern- Nesting Baskets.  The club is a Friday night, 5-10 so albeit after a work week, either very relaxing or tiring, with dinner included.

Folded with clear pocket holding my Eiffel tower scissors that my daughter in law bought for me. 

Open showing inside of bag.  We used the type of zipper that you can
take apart and then pair with a contrasting pull tab, as well as making the zipper
itself two toned.  I did black and white, and think that this would be neat in
garment construction, pockets perhaps?   Anyway, three mesh pockets on the inside.

Just a closer look at the insides and contrasting fabric

Rolled up and secured with buckle. The pattern calls for rounding out the
edges, but we left it squared.

The second class that I took Saturday is one that I have been intrigued with for a bit, and finally decided to just take it. It was creating a Sami Bracelet, which is basically a pewter braid couched onto a leather piece, and then finished off with a small button. This technique is a handcraft of the Sámi who are the indigenous people of the far north in Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The leather traditionally used is reindeer, as well as the button being from reindeer antlers. In addition to fishing and farming, reindeer husbandry has been an important part of their livelihood. Right now, Sami bracelets are in style and examples can be see in the  a number of places on the net, such as:

Swed-art and Anita Gronstedt, which are far more complicated than the one I made.  For another source or if you live near this center:

The National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center

I chose black as my first one, a good friend Lois made her's in red leather and it's beautiful:

 I plan on making more and want to experiment with creating centerpiece type beads for necklaces with the same technique.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I took this week off, and though spent a good amount of it cooking and baking for Thursday's dinner, I also have had some time for shopping, decorating and creative fun, something I badly needed. I've been so busy at work, honestly, that when I get home, I am mentally wiped out.  First thing up for Christmas is part of my bottle brush collection, with a new addition on the far left.  I took my oldest grandson to the Franklin Park Conservatory , Friday to enjoy the displays, make a gingerbread house and ride the horse drawn sled ( though actually a wagon, since we don't have any snow yet). I bought that tree in their wonderful gift shop and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with him.

Today though, all the men are off watching the OSU v. Michigan game ( that is now over, and OSU won, so I can be assured that they are all happy, save my middle son, who likes that team up north) and I've spent it doing more sewing, knitting and crafting.  One of my favorite blogs is A Spoonful of Sugar and she created a neat Christmas season sign with her Silhouette machine. Copying her, I did too, but used a chalkboard easel instead.

The design is available on the Silhouette website, $.99 I believe and done in white vinyl.  Next on the list of finished little projects were the 10 snowflakes crochet for a Ravelry snowflake swap. I added a small snowflake crystal to the center, so those are ready to go in the mail now. 
I also recently bought a new serger at Quilt Beginnings. A babylock and I think that I will absolutely love it!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A set of buttons:  My daughter and I have been taking an enameling class at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, not only a wonderful place for classes, but our teacher is fantastic.  With that being said, among other things, I've made a set of buttons to hopefully use during the Design Outside the Lines retreat in Taos.  The buttons are a lot of fun to make, perfectly round as you start with copper pennies.  They have to be before 1982, or they are not pure copper and will not enamel in the kiln.

 I plan on making more, but these are at least for the retreat and fit in with my colorscheme planned for my fall wardrobe.  Colors such as the photo below, I took from Pinterest and do not know the source, but the colors are perfect.
I'm still in the process of preparing for the retreat, which is coming up quickly.  One project I did for the retreat are Bendy bags, hopefully one for each participant, so I've made 20.  Very cute, quick project, even if you are making that many. They would be a perfect holiday gift project, by the way.

Lastly, I finished this little quilt up last fall, but not in time to display much for Halloween. This year, I'm ready.  I bought a stand through Connecting Threads , so it's ready to go.

 I also embroidered some towels for Halloween. Easy but cute.
That is all then until the retreat!  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Time to get busy!

I'm going to the Design Outside the Lines retreat in Taos in September. I am very excited of course, but a bit creatively intimidated.  I need to start really stretching the creative wings, so that I can take full advantage of the entire week.  In other words, it's time to stop thinking and start doing. It can be so easy to get caught up in spending the creative time I have in reading wonderful blogs, looking at interesting pins on Pinterest and dreaming of various projects, only to be tired enough at the end of the day to pick up something to knit, weave or sew that only improves my technique or skill as I follow someone else's design idea.  This is all well and good, but you only improve your technical skill, or satiate your creative need for the day by reading or viewing it on the computer.

I've really been inspired and challenged by several sewing blogs not only for the wonderful projects but the insight. Myrna Giesbrecht, I love reading this one and really look forward to a new post.  Not only does she share a variety of projects and challenges, but the books she reads are wonderful.  She shares her creative journey as she pushes herself to grow creatively.

However, today I have the house to myself, and it's pouring rain.  First up, just finishing a tank top for summer.  While that in of itself, is more just a project to get down for a summer top, I did stretch a bit and add a cut piece to the neckline, cutting against the grain of the knit for a contrast.  It's a start. The pattern is Ann's Cardigan and Tank, by the The Sewing Workshop. It's a very good fit, easy enough, and a bit interesting with the side vents and shaped hem.  The neckline in the pattern is serged and turned under, I added a 1" strip of the striped area of the fabric, stitched and turned that under.

The second piece finished for the day.  There is a particular
 vendor that I look forward to her booth at various fiber 
shows that I attend Small and Beautiful Beads
 She carries these wonderful metal, patina pieces in verdigris,
 I don't think she has them on her website though.  
For this necklace, I wanted to use something with
 a different texture to contrast with the metal. 
 I dyed natural wool roving a turquoise color, with a
 bit of green dye swirled in.  To create the felted beads, I first needle felt the wool into a larger round shape, and then finish them with wet felting until they are compact and the size I want (they shrink a bit when dry).  This also has two polymer clay beads that I purchased somewhere, and had in my bead stash. The leather cord is knotted between each element as it was strung.

 Back to the studio, i've got a few more hours of quiet creativity to fill!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

After a full week at work, traveling from Cincinnati to Cleveland and 3 large meetings back to back with events each night ranging from dinner out with a group to a Cleveland Cavalier's game, I finally got a little time to relax this afternoon.  So I headed for my studio of course.

First up, just a quick finish and I really haven't any plans for these two items yet, other than they are done and off the sewing table.  They are quilted postcards, I think the idea is that you turn them into the quilt shop, they send them to a central  location and then send a batch back, so you get a different one back from the one you turned in.  I didn't do that, just finished the two and will use them next Christmas.
 They use a fusible foam between the two layers which makes them slightly stiff.  The pieced design was a freebie from The Red Rooster  specifically for these postcards.  

Second up to be finished:  My local ASG chapter put out a request for pillowcases with a Valentines day theme for the James Cancer hospital here in Columbus. I finished three today.  The tutorial that I used is here: The Seasoned Homemaker.  Done burrito style ( I know, I wasn't sure what that meant, until I read through the tutorial, and then it makes sense), they are very quick.  The only thing I changed was to serge the inside seams rather than french seams.  
 The one in the front is my favorite, love that fabric!  

Now I am off to cook up dozen's of Italian meatballs to stock the freezer before the SuperBowl begins.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Some sewing!

I've joined the Shabby Fabrics Christmas Keepsake Block of the month and received the January block a few days ago.  I did the lazer cut option, which makes it ridiculous easy, but I do want to be able to put this quilt out right before Thanksgiving as I start to decorate for Christmas 2015, so easy is fine with me! The last mailing is in October, but I am determined to have this completed on time.
The finished quilt is  36" by 36" and can be seen on their website.  It's really cute.

The first block is done.  The ribbon embellishment on the top of the ornament is added when you are completely done, and doing the finishing touches, so later this year.  I used Floriani threads and did just a blanket stitch around the pieces and voila!

Another finished item:  for a swap on Ravelry, I made a valentines theme fabric sock project bag with some heart shaped stitch markers.  No pattern, but a tutorial that can be found here.Notes from Terry Ann.  It went together beautifully and I plan on making more, for gifts and for me.  
I love the little side pocket!  it's big enough for a tape measure, probably a set of double points and your stitch markers.  The fabric is All My Heart by Josie Celio and Sally Griswold of Iron Orchid Designs/ Clothworks.  Appropriate for Valentines day but not too cutesy.  I purchased it at Red Rooster Quilts