Friday, June 20, 2014

Latest Etsy Addition: Itty Bitty Baby Dress

I just finished this custom order dress! I was asked to make a dress like this, but in yellow and a size up. I had no idea if the same fabric was available in yellow, and after a little searching I found that it was on back order everywhere. Drat! Then, I lucked out and found a yard on Ebay of all places. Yay!

I lined it with the same print as the original dress. It will be worn for family pictures, and the colors are navy and yellow. I love the color combo here. I have just enough fabric left I may be able to squeeze out one more dress. Or an apron. Like I need another apron.

The flowers are yo-yo's with vintage shell buttons I had in my stash. See! This is justification for having a large button just never know what you will need! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Texas Watercolor

Due to the aforementioned Texas propaganda coming my way, as well as a shameless request for more art, I painted this for Rachel. (I do enjoy shameless requests :) She had seen some Texas artwork on Etsy and this was the result of that inspiration.

I added some words from the Texas anthem. Shhh, don't tell anyone is is supposed to be 'our' instead of 'oh'. Duh. I can't believe I did that. The heart is over San Antonio, where R & P live.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Closet Flashbacks: Mosaic Stepping Stone

Today I am resurrecting the neglected Closet Flashback feature, which really should have a different name since half the stuff isn't from our closets. Perhaps "handmade: in the wild!" or "Yes I actually use the stuff I make" or....must revisit when brain cells are snapping. This week's flashback was made about two years ago with a mosaic kit I got at the thrift store. It has been rotated through plenty of locations, but I think it has finally found its home at the gate of my garden. It is bright, colorful and fun, cute 6 year old toes not included.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Branching Out: Texas eReader Sleeve

Recently I was pondering different ideas for my journal covers, and decided to branch out into Kindle/eReader sleeves. At the same time, Rachel is breathing down my neck about all manner of Texas flair. (OK, not really breathing down my neck...she's just very passionate about her newfound state!) Despite never having been there, I decided to add a little Texas flair to this project.

 For this, and all my journal designs, I begin by sketching the design in my sketchbook. When I get it how I want it, I trace off each of the sections and cut them out for templates. Very scientific.

I have realized I work very spontaneously in that I don't plan ahead. I don't pick all the colors, or decide on the beads beforehand. I just go with it and make it up as I go along. For this project, I wasn't planning on the beads but it just seemed to be what needed to happen.

That, and I seem to have the knack for adding tedious details to everything I do. My latest project involves a few dozen french knots. That should tell you something right there!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Skeleton Leaf Necklaces

This week I played in my bead box!

I came up with a few necklaces to add to our Etsy shop.

Check them out here

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Project: FAIL

I have a beautiful rosebush that is going gangbusters right now. (OK, how often do you get to use the term 'gangbusters'?!) I have memories of making rosewater when I was an industrious adolescent. We had some wild rosebushes growing nearby and I followed the directions in The American Girls Handy Book.  The book was originally published in 1887 and is full of all manner of fun old-school DIY projects. Weaving a net for lawn tennis, anyone? The recipe for rose water involved cooking the petals in water, letting them steep, straining them and letting it sit uncapped for a few days. It worked great. Fast forward a few years (imagine the 'few' in air quotes, OK?) and I wanted to make it with the kids. My daughter was game because she likes things that smell beautiful. The 8 year old boy, not so much. My youngest is 4 and he was very excited about this project because he wanted to make perfume for his Auntie Rachel. I decided to go all high-tech and do the 'modern' version which supposedly makes a superior product, bla, bla, bla. I'm telling you, people, it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel! It they say it works in 1887, it still works today, and probably better. I used some fancy method where you basically catch the steam from the simmering petals. It involves lots of ice, lots of supervision, and results in a bowl of water that smells like....water. Twas a bust. Next time I will stick to ye olden methods and see how it turns out.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Despite seeing only half of Despicable Me, my son loves the minions. He was recently bored and we decided to make these little pet rocks. I saw the idea on Pinterest; someone had used them for party favors. To make them, we painted clean dry rocks with yellow acrylic paint. (spray paint would have worked beautifully also) When the paint was dry, we painted the pants. I used the end of a marker dipped in white paint for the eye. When that was dry, we used a fine point and regular sharpies to add the details. I sprayed them with varnish and they were done! The little ones we call MINIons. Ha!!! Both my other kids asked for a few, so we ended up making 6 in all. They like to carry them around in their pockets and take them outside. Quick, easy and cheap free! I think this is the perfect project to revisit in the summer time.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pinterest Inspired Broach To Necklace DIY

I know I've harped on this before, but is a pit full of possibilities and pipe dreams. Last week, I saw this necklace and had a 'eureka!' moment. I have a Delft broach that my aunt gave me, and while I liked it, I don't wear broaches and so it sat in my jewelry box. Before committing a crime of sacrilege against this antique piece, I turned to ebay to see if it was worth anything before I cut the pin off the back. Broaches like this were selling from $10 to $15 so I decided to turn it into something wearable.  The bird is a little bigger than I would have liked, and I had to surgically remove a letter from its mouth, but I am happy with the results. The dark beads are really cobalt blue, but they are a little camera shy apparently.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Etsy Prototype: Granny Chic? Eco Friendly? Scrappy Tote Bag

 I made this bag to put on Etsy, but the lining annoys me so I am calling it a 'prototype'. I was inspired by this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew because it combines rick rack and vintage lace, both which I happen to have in quantity.

Here's a secret, and another thing that annoys me about the bag: I botched a little section of the rick rack, so I slapped another doily on there! Sneaky.

The base of the bag is made from recycled jeans and Amy Butler scraps. I sewed some pretty old lace on the handles.

This is the back of the bag and I used a scrap of old lace to add some interest. There is also some funky yellow crocheted lace here and there.

The bag is lined with a pretty floral sheet from (I'm guessing) the 70's. The bag came out cute and very sturdy, but the lining doesn't sit right and I just can't abide putting it up on Etsy so I will have to figure out what to do with it.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mosaic Window: Installed!

Well the last week of my life I spent nursing a bad case of strep throat. It is a week I'll never get back, and I can't really say I accomplished anything. I am dying to get back to the sewing machine, but until then, here are some pictures of the window hanging up. I love how it looks so different all throughout the day. At night, from the patio, it looks beautiful with the kitchen light shining through.

 Its like a happy trifecta: chandelier, window and giant spoon!