Projects I'm Working On

I think that I have crafting ADD, I have to work on about four projects at a time to stay interested in all of them. I have been busy, busy, busy in the clean crafty lair and thought I would share what I was working on.
This is an almost finished ear flap hat for my husband. I have almost finished my striped shrug and I will be sharing that soon.
These are neckties that have been sewn together that will become an obi belt or two. My Mother gave me a box of neckties from her stash and I picked out all the ones with brown in them to use for this project.
And this is my prototype/copy of a vintage apron that belonged to my great-grandmother. It is the cutest half apron I have ever seen. I has a build in ruffle and it will have pockets above the bias tape.


First Etsy Purchases

I finally bought some of the things on my favorites list from Etsy!

I bought this Dichroic Fused Glass Pendant from jmtglass all the swirls reminded me of a Gustav Klimt painting.I also bought these ACEO Mini gift cards Sampler Set of Six- Mythological Goddesses from EmilyBalivet's shop. I love to collect art and the ACEOs(art card, editions and originals) are the perfect thing for me. I just bought a lovely frame for collector cards at Micheals.

Right now it's holding some of my favorite Magic the Gathering cards, but I will be making room for my new ACEOs. There is a little plastic case that holds each individual card and then slides into the frame, I may have to buy another one when they go on sale again.


Project: Cleaning the Crafting Lair

Today I had the whole afternoon to myself, so I cleaned my crafty lair. I am lucky enough to have the entire second floor for all of my crafting. This is the room where I do all the crafting, across the hall there is another room that I have the majority of my fabric stash in and a spare bed, I have thought about sleeping up here many nights. I have to say it was a bit overdue, as you can see.I spent quite a while (three hours) putting everything back into its proper spot. Can you believe there is a table in here? My husband came up to check it out before I swept and asked it a sequin tsunami had been through, the floor looked like a sequin carpet.Now that was an afternoon well spent! I am so excited to have it clean, so I can mess it up again. I wonder what I should do first.

Here's my nice clean table top. By the way I found this solid wood table on the curb when they had city wide clean up a couple years ago. The table wouldn't close all the way and there was a filthy piece of linoleum on the top to cover the gap. After peeling the linoleum off and tightening a screw it worked perfect, it even came with that great red orange finish on the top. City wide clean up is my favorite time of year, everyone in town puts their junk out on the curb and the city hauls it away for free, but normally we all drive around picking stuff we want and hauling it home.


Project: Recycled Crayons

I have seen a lot of people making recycled crayons lately and since I live in a household with two small children we have broken crayons everywhere. I had read this tutorial about it here a few months ago and bought a package of star cake tins and so late tonight I randomly decided that it would be a fun quick project.
Here they are waiting to go into the oven. Did I mention that my husband was on the computer and I couldn't go and check the directions, oh well, I can remember something I read briefly a couple of months ago, right? So I preheat the oven to 250 (note that the tutorial says 150, I was only 100 degrees off) and pop them in. After waiting a few minutes to make sure they weren't going to burst into flames or something I wandered off to watch TV. About 10 minutes later I went to check on them and I had crayon soup, not the variegated crayons I had expected. A little defeated I take a shower while I wait for them to cool. The backs are a solid color and not looking very exciting. After they cooled I pulled them out of the tins, the front side looks cool and the good thing is the only way you can really screw this up is if they do burst into flames in you oven.

I know that they will be enjoyed by my kids, they are big and easy to handle, and have no idea what they were supposed to look like. I will definitely make these again (I do have a coffee tin full of broken crayons and my mother still has a container full from when I was a kid) and bake them at a lower temperature and see if they look more like I expected. I think they would be a popular item at a craft show and they would make great gifts or favors.


Bargain Hunter #4, What I Sent

My package was mailed out today. I can only hope that everything fits, it is very challenging to sew clothing for someone I don't know and can't have a fitting with.
The most disappointing thing is I made a big mistake, I thought I would just add one more little stencil to one of the tops and when I ironed on the freezer paper there was ick on my iron and it transferred to the top! There is not way to fix it and I could not find a replacement when I dashed to the store in a panic.

In person it doesn't look as bad as this picture, but it is still noticeable. I tried to think of some way to fix it, but came up with nothing, well actually nothing good. A big applique?, no; another stencil?, no, not going down that road again; some sort of patch?, no. I did send it as is, hopefully it is still wearable or can be modified by its new owner.

The next shirt was made by combining two t-shirts into one and then stenciling. I was not thrilled with how the stencil looked, the coloring made it blah.
I went back and hand painted some highlights to make it pop a bit, I like it much better now.

Here is the star of the swap. It may not look that fabulous on a hanger, but I'm hoping it will fit my swap partner perfectly (crossing fingers).
The top is silk (I think) brocade and has a fitted shape with an almost halter styled neckline and then I made a coordinating shrug out of stretch velvet.Here's the detail of the neckline, it will look much better with boobs filling it out, trust me!
I love doing the bargain hunter swaps, they really challenge me and I am more willing to try new things, I am looking forward to the next one.


Etsy Poster Sketch Tool

A few weeks ago on the Etsy Forums there was a lot of talk about the new poster sketch tool (the tool is meant to help you see what a treasury might look like). I was busy with other things and decided to bookmark it for later. Today I suddenly remembered it and decided to try it out.

I love this! I have never made a treasury, but I was just happy to see some of my favorites all on the same page. It is very easy to use and it's a great way to show a sampling of my personal favorites. I also just learned how to take a screen shot, yay for me! I see more of these in my future.


Bargain Hunter #4

I got my Bargain Hunter #4 swap package from liebschien today and it is fan-freaking-tastic!!!

This is the group shot there is a burnt orange purse, a tarot card bag with tassel trim, a postcard holder with monkey fabric, 4 bead encrusted card holders (for my tarot cards), a stenciled t-shirt with a peacock, and the extra fabric, piping, and paint.
Detail of the purse, tarot card bag, card holders, and monkey postcard holder.
Here's a better shot of the stenciled peacock (I looooovveeee peacocks).
Shopping List:
Paint $.44 cardboard freecycle
Tarot card bag fabric .38 black t-shirt free
Tassels .38 monkey fabric free sample
Ribbon 1.47 orange fabric free sample
Fimo clay 1.39
Photo books 2 @1.00
zipper 2.41
piping 1.24
lining fabric 1.02

From stash:
fabric medium, freezer paper, interfacing, seed beads, glaze, and black fabric.

I absolutely love everything, my partner really stalked me well! I can't wait to put everything to use and I really can't wait to wear my new shirt. Thanks so much liebschien you did a really great job .


Knit, knit, knit, purl, purl, purl

I am still knitting away on my shrug. I would like have it ready to wear before winter it over! I have changed the original pattern so much that now it seems like it was more inspiration than instruction. The sleeves were originally meant to be made separately, but I just made a big button hole for my head to go through, I suppose there is a good reason not to do this, but I did it anyway.
Here you can see how far I have come, I have about 25 stripes left plus the ribbed cuff. Once I finish the sleeves and sew them up I will decide if I'm going to add the hood (I think that the buttonhole idea may make it difficult for me to attach the hood, but I'm a beginner what do I know). I have to say I just love the look of stockinette fabric, so smooth and perfect. I also need to finish this project so I can start a new project, I just got size 8 circular needles and I'm dying to make an earflap hat. I actually taught myself to knit just so I could make earflap hats! I think tonight I'll pop in a movie and just sit and knit, I have finally gotten to the point where knitting doesn't take 100% of my attention, (it only takes about 85%) so I can enjoy watching/listening to a movie that I've seen before.


Thrift Store Find - Mini Tea Cup and Saucer

I found this at my local thrift store today. I have been looking for tea cups to make a pincushion like this, but I haven't been able to find anything that I like until today.

This thing is tiny! It's going to make the cutest little pincushion, maybe I'll just keep needles in it.


Polymer Clay Gun

I tried my new clay gun. It works really well, but if you try to pack too much clay into it it's really hard to push the clay out. Using the clay gun made the process go faster and easier, with all the snakes made up all I had to do was curl and place them. I made a lot of progress on this box and I expect to finish it tomorrow. I also like how all the snakes are uniform in size, but I'm not sure about this pink/brown color combo I'm working with, I think a brighter pink would have been a better choice. If you interested in trying new techniques with polymer clay the Glass Attic is a good place to start, Diane has put together a great resource for all things clay related.


Day of Shopping

My husband and I went shopping today and I came home with oodles of new crafty stuff. I am really excited about this book:I love pin-ups and would love to work with them, but since I sell a lot of my work I don't want to be concerned with copyright infringement. I am hoping that this book will help me to draw my own! I will definitely be talking more about this book in the near future.

I also bought some new tools to try with polymer clay, a clay gun and a push mold. I had so much fun making the filigree pill box that I would like to make more, so hopefully a clay gun will make the process a lot faster. I have also seen art dolls being made with faces of polymer clay, this is the mold I bought:
I like how round they are, they remind me of the moon. I can't wait to start playing with them.

That is just a sampling of what I bought today, I'll be showing off more of my new projects soon.


Project: Polymer Clay Pill Box

I have been experimenting with polymer clay. There are a lot of good tutorials on the internet and I really wanted to try filigree, I'm not really into covering eggs, so I used a mint tin.I think it turned out pretty well for my first try. I don't have a clay gun yet, so I rolled out all of these snakes by hand. I haven't sanded it either, but I did use the muslin disc on my rotary tool to polish it a bit.

This should give you and idea of the size, I think it will be just perfect for a pill box, but any other suggestions would be welcome. I would like to do this again, but I think that it would be a lot easier with a clay gun.


Featured Artist - PoPkO

Butterfly Wing Glass Relic Necklace

PoPkO's Shop

When I first found these pendants I was amazed, those are real butterfly wings,(they are collected from a local conservatory after a natural death). There are several different types of wings available and there are also several different sizes and styles of necklaces. If you would like to see more of these amazing pendants look here. PoPkO does take custom and wholesale orders and is fast to respond to convos. You could also visit here blog and sign up for her monthly newsletter(there may be coupons involved).
This is number one on my list of things to buy when I get my tax return back!


Sparklicious Factory

Today I worked on cutting out my sparklicious fabric. I think I have a nice selection of colors.I have enough here for 15 wristlets, now I need to cut the linings, make the pockets and put them all together. These are really fun to make, but there is glitter and sequins everywhere. It looks like a fairy exploded in my craft room!


Bargain Hunter #4 Swap

Here are the fabrics that I have for the Bargain Hunter Swap on Craftster. The green and the black t-shirts were $1.00 each, the blue velvet was $1.00, and the oriental brocade I found in the remnant bin for $4.50(with a 50% off coupon). So, I still have $3.50 of my budget left to spend.
I've started reconstructing the t-shirts and am about half way there. I just had my husband modeling for me since he is closer in size to my partner. I definitely need more elastic, I wasn't planning on using any, but now I can't do without it. I will also need some interfacing, but if I don't need a lot I'm sure I can find some in my stash. I was going to go to the one local thrift store today, but it was closed(it's been snowing all day). I have a pillowcase that I got for $.50 that I may use to make a top or a tote bag, I don't need to send it until the 18th., but I would like to finish early, we'll see how these projects work out I may need the entire time.


Book Review: Amulets Sacred Charms of Power and Protection by Sheila Paine

I bought this book because I am a visual person and every page is filled with images of amulets. This book inspires me to use my sketchbook to explore my own personal amulets, symbols and beliefs.
I like how this book is organized. It is easy to read about and see spefic symbols, materials, and colors. It also illustraits various cultures and beliefs. I enjoyed Ms. Paine's explainations and found her observations informative. It made me realize that many people have amulets, for example taxi drivers may hang a CD from their rear view mirror to divert the evil eye or even something as mundane as a wedding ring can be an amulet.
I would recommend this book as a reference tool for people interested in amulets and also people interested in cultural studies.


Still Knitting and Bargain Hunting

I am now at the point where I frogged the other sleeve(yes I am a slow knitter, but in my defense I have been working on about 5 other projects). This one appears to be wide enough to fit around my arm without the sausage effect. I think I need to knit about 20 more stripes and I will have one sleeve done, maybe I'll finish this in time for a balmy June evening.

I have also been working on designs for my partner(liebschien) in the Bargain Hunter #4 Swap. I am hoping to make several different tops. I bought two t-shirts(one black and one green) and I want to combine them into one babydoll styled top with puffy sleeves and I found this great stencil here that I want to do with bleach at the hem. I also scored some beautiful deep blue oriental brocade fabric and some deep blue stretch velvet that I would like to make into a top and shrug and I also have a vintage pillow case that I could make into a top or a bag like this. I am waiting to see if Hobby Lobby has patterns on sale tomarrow, but I may have one in my stash that I could alter to fit her.

I had my first sale on Etsy yesterday, yay me! and I am making a custom bag for one of my coworkers. I need more supplies badly, we are planning a supply trip in two weeks, I can hardly wait, Hobby Lobby, Micheals, and Joann's oh my!!!!


Featured Artist - DebiDesigns

Faries Imp FAE Pin Doll

DebiDesigns Shop

When I saw this little fairy pin it took my breath away. The face and the wings are hand molded with polymer clay by Debbie and then made into an art doll that she had beaded with czeck glass beads in varying sizes. I just can't stop looking at it, the details are amazing! This little imp would be the centerpiece of any outfit. Debbie's store also features fiberart ACEOs and postcards.