Sunday, February 22, 2009

classy baby tie

i went to a baby shower for my boss and his wife today. being the crafty mama that i am (a procrastinating one at that!), i decided last night what to give.
i ran to the store and loaded up on a few essentials for any new baby ; bottle, rattle, washcloths, bib (i need to develop a pattern for one of these already... :-/ ), and two 3 packs of baby jumpsuits/ ones-ies. whatever they are calling them these days....

i knew mom and dad to be were having a i wanted a little something that would be a joke on a fancy outfit....i can't take full credit for the idea....i saw something like it on one of my never ending internet surfing endevours......{you feel me or what? ;) }

so i took the plain white jumpsuits and added a little tie applique to each. i used my fancy new polyester thread that my friend justine of potomac river goods recommended..... :) they turned out SO cute and were a real crowd pleaser.......i may have to create more in the future.

that's all for now y'all. i am maxing and relaxing preparing for a very busy day of sewing tomorrow.
warm hugs

Thursday, February 19, 2009

a warm week whilst in winter

it has been a beautiful warm sunny week, despite the tornado warnings about 35 miles away. we went for a walk and felt the warm sun and winds collide. the energy was high. the clouds puffed up and and hurried along their way. thankfully, the turbulent weather never amounted to anything and it was a great show to see. is a funny totally unrelated pic from the Loki Festival last October outside of Asheville, NC. It was a few weeks before Halloween, so some people dressed up. My leg warmers and skirt are by yours truly And the patchy apron top is by my buddy Becca. She used her mom's fly sewing machine to stitch on Widespread Panic on the front ~ so cute!. ..................... i have been busy developing patterns for some warm weather clothing. i don't know what all of you crafty mamas use for pattern paper, but in the past i have use newspaper. i really enjoyed using the line of symmetry between the large pages and the fact that i was reusing an other product. then one day i thought back to my childhood artistic days. my mom used to buy big rolls of butcher paper and we (four siblings total) would roll it out and go to town with markers and crayons. i found an unbleached version of this, a roll of unprinted newspaper. its a good weight paper, not so tissue like, and i can use whatever type of writing utensil successfully. sometimes i use pencils, crayons, markers, and pens one the paper.

when i mark on fabric i often use a sharpened piece of ivory soap. if i have a tiny area i will use the old fashioned tracing paper and a little wheel, but i hate use them for some reason...i like to have my heavy weight more durable mineral specimens, rocks, or crystals out when i am cutting fabric as well. they not only help me feel grounded, but they also help me weight fabric for optimum pinning accuracy. :) i use stainless steel shears and a rotary cutting wheel and mat for all of my cutting.
in terms of pattern storage my methods are all over the map.sometimes i roll of the pattern pieces all together and use a fabric scrap to tie it up. i know it sounds silly, but i like the tribal scroll feel of it. i also have quite a few patterns paper clipped together that are snuggling in the top of a bankers box. i have not pictured this because its a mess, believe me. i don't know why i set my self up for a scramble, my brain has a love-hate relationship with organization.

heather of magnolia skies has inspired me to get more organized. i picked up some zippered plastic bags for my vintage patterns to prevent any more damage or wear to the outer envelopes. i also plan on making little tags for the scrolls to be identifiable when they are all stacked up.

this week i dove into the stretchy polyester fabrics. i think so long as a garment has enough drape, polyester can be totally functional and comfortable. i can't resist them as a fabric; the stretch, the drape, the slinkly feel of the fabric...... here is a sneak peak of an item coming to an etsy shop near you ...........

in preparation for my art show in april, miguel and i are designing upcycled/recycled market bags. we initially collaborated on holiday gifts for the family. i rescued a large canvas umbrella shade from a broken umbrella. with a cut here and a stitch there and a paint paint paint unveils a sturdy unique canvas shopping bag and with a square bottom. miguel hand painted each one on one side with fabric grade paints in browns and greens. he even made the gift tags for them with some of my vintage ribbons....and here they are......


The bags were a big hit and really fun to make. we cut out the main pieces for a bunch of market bags, but this time in different colors from my stash. Miguel developed the pattern for a wine bottle bag. These will probably have only one strap across the top. i can't wait to see how these turn out, i have a feeling they are going to be a big hit.

i have a few other crafty plans outside of the polyester relm this week. in fact, i plan on cutting into yet another coveted vintage piece of fabric. {what a rush, right?} here is a sneak preview of the fabric. please try not to drool on your keyboards.... ;)
tomorrow night i will shakin and bee boppin to keller williams in good ol' huntsville. its not often that we get good live music locally, so i've gotta enjoy it.
much love everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

spread thin, but still productive

I am so happy that Valentine's Day has come and past. My job was insanely crazy busy providing four courses of deliciousness to couples celebrating the holiday. I think that love should be constant and not shown through a designated day. I would feel like such a communist if I went out to Dinner with my man on Valentines Day.....Oh well its, over! Huzzah! :D

On to the craftiness.....
Somehow while working 40 hours last week, I managed to get a few things finished......
Here we have a jumper made from some amazing vintage taupe and tourmaline dark green wool. I washed (cold) and dried both wools to prevent any shrinking in the future. Dry cleaning sucks! It is so bad for the environment, besides people have been wearing wool fabrics LONG before dry cleaning was available. I appliqued a diamond on either mitered corner pocket.
"Queen of Diamonds Jumper"
I also made my first pair of gauchos from some stellar black printed vintage polyester jersey. I made them to go with an apron top I made last summer. The apron top features sweet eyelet white cotton fabric, and the aforementioned vintage jersey fabric. I originally made it to go with this wrap skirt with a detachable pocket, but I sold it separately on etsy a couple of weeks ago (thanks again Suzanne!).
Any who, back to the gauchoes....I made them with a nice wide waistband that can be worn up or folded down. This style waistband is SO hot right now. I look forward to trying it out more. I added some three inch eyelet trim to the hem.
I also finished up this great reconstructed shirt from a man's ginormous button down shirt. It is a peasant style blouse with elastic at the neckline and sleeves, which are raglan style. I also added a drawstring to gather just under the bust for a slimming fit. I even reused the breast pocket.

In honor of my etsy team Gypsy Road's challenge of the month, I am not only blogging my processes, I am also stepping up my photography. I acquired some floresant lights that show the fabrics true to color. I have also been brushing up on photography basics. Most imporantly I am taking new pictures of some of the stock in my shop that don't give the garment justice at all {I have more of these right now then i like :( } . And as much as I loved taking pictures outside, the lighting is not always conduscive to a great photoshoot.
Here are two items I took entirely new pictures for their listings.
tank top dress with faux suede vintage pink jersey & calico

This week I plan on making more fabric tapestries for the art fair. I have a bunch of a ideas for appliques, BUT I can't start that until I load up on a bunch of different colored threads. I hate paying retail price for thread, but I don't have the patience to search online for the best deal.......

much love everyone,

Friday, February 6, 2009

its friday i'm in love

Yes, I am in love with the idea of having a job to go to this evening. As I learn about all of the layoffs across the U.S. and even within my town of Huntsville, Alabama I am forever grateful. I can't imagine how I would get by without having a stable (somewhat) income. I work at this awesome restaurant and bar. 801 Franklin is the best job I have ever had. The staff is super small and kynd.
The best part about this place is that is is independently owned by this local hipster. The food we serve is for the most part free range, organic, and or local. Let me tell you, there aren't many people doing this in Alabama. I have learned SO much about wine and bar service since I have worked there. I can shake up a mean Manhattan ..... that is is you are a bourbon fan like me.... :)

With all this being said, I don't want to go into work tonight. I feel like just when I get my creative mumbo jumbo in the groove I have to go into work. Don't get me wrong I LOVE my job and I love taking care of people. It just seems like my creativity doesn't cooperate with the timimg. I would love to sew and create full time, but right now it just isn't in the cards. I look at where my "business" was years ago and my skills and clientel have bloomed tremendously! I know financially I don't have the business to support all of my needs...........maybe someday. I suppose most artists are masters of doing a million things at once. "Do you feeeeeeel like I do?"

Ok then! Enough rambling; on to the crafting......

This is what I have been workin on
In honor of my etsy team's challenge {GypsyRoad} "Taking care of number one" challenge I finished up a BUNCH of random things that needed some love in my studio.

1. I finally finished up the care package I was workin on for my Best-y and her little family. She and I went to high school together in St.Louis, MO. Now she and hers live in Gunnison, Colorado.
.....for baby bear.....a precious velour octopus made from vintage even has his initial on one of the feet like in Toy Story
2. for papa bear.....a handmade hankerchief with a little free motion embroidery.....I'm still figuring this process out, but it still sweet!

3. for mama bear.... a wrap skirt that i made from a dress she made years ago....does that make sense? lol

4. I fixed up a hole in some sweat pants and a sweater for Miguel......and of course a boring circle patch is too ordinary for the way .....I LOVE patching up holes with jersey/knit fabric. It is So much easier.....I used the star patch method on several other things for him
5. after enough life with eternally cold hands...I took a bit of inspiration from the etsy world and made some lil hand warmers. They were made with fleece scraps from a custom scarf order and were super quick.
{doesn't Miss Lucia look beautiful in the morning sun?}
Moving right along here people.....:D
As I mentioned before I am gearing up for an Art/craft show....
So i have been going through my vintage fabrics that I have been able to cut into because the awe inspiring prints.....and I made some eco friendly tapesteries (top 4 items). I made something like this years ago for a literacy project. There are three laters of fabric and all of the seams are tucked inside. I either machine or handquilted a bit on each to keep the layers together.....{MAD props to all of you hand quilters out there). There are loops at the top for a stick or dowl rod to slip through and a tiny space to put in a straighted wire coat hanger. This keeps the tapestry straight and pretty. Then you can hand it horizontally by the stick or you add ribbon and hang it. I will post an action shot soon, as well as many more tapestries.......

The bottom row entails some zippered pouches I made from my scrap bins. They are fully lined and one of a kind.

Much love,

Monday, February 2, 2009

warm wonder lusting

so i am sure that many of you out there are yearning for warmer weather. my studio gets SO cold even compared to the rest of the house. i hate blasting my space heater, but a woman can't get any work done with a big sweatshirt on....
Anyways, i've been thinking about this summer and how amazing its going to be. It's going to be my second summer of the rest of my life. :D I graduated with my BS last spring (2008). Back to my point.....
I'm sure many of you are huge fans of live music, like me. You probably all know about the phabulous four getting back together; Phish. There were thousands of people who entered in the lottery to purchase tickets before they went on sale to the public. Somehow, I was lucky enough to receive tickets to Deer Creek and both Nights of Alpine Valley. I also recently found out Miguel and I have tickets to the added Knoxville show as well. It's quite exciting and I can't wait to see many of my friends who I have not seen in a long time along the way and at the shows....It's all of these warm thoughts i keep repeating to myself to keep myself productive, despite the cold winter weather......I may live in Alabama, but it does get cold! Perhaps I am a littel spoiled by the sweet southern winds.......
In my meet and greet post I forgot to introduce my friends
Beebop.....and.....Rock Steady (I was a total TMNT kid)
Mississippian Fossils Miquel mined locally
These are first of the stock I have created for my artist show in April; decorative flags. My etsy team over at Gypsy Road suggested these...... What do you all think? All but one of these were created from fabrics in my massive fabric stash-a-roo. I straight stitched around each of the flags to keep the fraying from getting out of control.

Here is my newest creation. I have had the dress finished for a while, but I had been waiting on my fusible bond. Its a simple little Deady bolt, but I think it makes the whole dress

much love, Banana

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