Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Candlelier" OR Really Strange Jewelry Storage

(pronounced like "chandelier")

Lots of broken jewelry pieces, bracelets, earrings, watches, plus random beads & crystals.

Do you have broken shiny stuff?
Don't throw that away!
Send it to me and I'll add it to the candlelier!

The window? Kay gave it to me after a failed patio table project. I reverse painted* it for a faux window in the bathroom.

*Reverse painting - painted from back of glass instead of top surface of glass, meaning the white clouds were painted first then the blue sky.

Check out more window tricks at
Country Chic Cottage
on June 14th!

Decoupage glue & stamps

Lots and lots of postal stamps
Mod Podge decoupage medium
Garage sale table with damaged top surface
Several hours hunched over while watching television

Pillows sewn from upholstery sample remnants

Random beads and wire = cute lamp shade

Leftover and random beads


Cheapo candlestick lamp with paper shade

More Tea Towels!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tea Towels!

Doe a deer, a female deer - a handbag

First project completed from a pattern!

Upholstery fabric remnant not large enough so
polka dot fabric pieced
to top of handbag.

Embroidered on both sides of bag plus inside pocket.

Don't throw that away!

Baby clothing that is just too cute to toss?
Baby clothing that might be stained?

Nursery bedding fabric remnant?

Don't toss that fabric!

Sew a cute Christmas tree ornament instead! And create a special keepsake.
"When you were a baby . . ."

Freebie tote bag makeover

Hey, ya know those freebie canvas tote bags from vendors with screen printed advertisements? I love them but don't love the tacky graphics so covered the logo with this fabric remnant.

  • Upholstery fabric sample

  • Stencil

  • Embroidery

Zigzagged the edge of fabric and sewed it to the canvas bag.

Attempted to border it with rickrack. Three times. No rickrack. Any tips for the future?

Tote bag completed WITHOUT cursing and tears

Hello Craft People!

Found a tote bag tutorial on, downloaded the instructions and sewed up a cute shopping bag from fabric scraps that evening. It turned out so cute that I am carrying it as a purse! The next time around, I will lengthen the handles to comfortably hang on my shoulder.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Crafty inspiration

Three books have inspired me to get back in the craft room studio.

Quilts of Gee's Bend: Masterpieces from a Lost Place by William Arnett, Alvia Wardlaw, Jane Livingston, John Beardsley is a beautiful account of quilting by African American women. Stunning photographs and engrossing stories. But the inspiration, for me, was JUST MAKE IT. Great grandmother quilted. Mom quilted. And somewhere inside me, there is a quilt. But life is busy and I figured I would look forward to that when time passed a little slower. But this book has motivated me to get out the fabric and teach myself to make quilt! No patterns, no T-squares, no pinning. Learn to quilt and have fun while doing it.

Next I picked up a book titled Subversive Cross Stitch by Julie Jackson. This woman is after my own heart. She revealed her dislike of cutesy kittens and bears offered in the pre-packaged cross stitch kits. Her subversive urge caused her to add sarcastic comments to the otherwise milquetoast stitching. (And I thought I was clever to stitch "If you've nothing nice to say, come sit by me" in fancy script.) No, Julie Jackson is way too cool for school, what with her "Go Fuck Yourself" patterns. But again, inspiration struck and I quickly stitched a fingertip towel for my friend Bonnie with her oft repeated command, Bite Me.

And then I found Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To by Jenny Hart and Alexandra Grablewskifor. I have cross stitched for at least twenty years and while I enjoy the activity, I don't want any of that crap in my house. It is fine for baby gifts but not for the wall. So, after perusing the local library, I checked out Kids Embroidery by Kristin Nicholas. I have all of the needles and floss but what to stitch on? The scrub pants were right there and a handy future reference. With my well-stocked craft stash, I pulled out water soluble pens and stencils to mark my fabric. The stitching began. Hey, this is easy! Meanwhile, I am kind of pissed that I have been jacking around with cross stitch all these years while I could have been doing embroidery.

A look around the house turned up my stack of cotton tea towels. Stitched all of those. Then made a purse. And embroidered on that. Purchased six packs of nice cotton tea towels from the KMart Martha Stewart collection. And I am looking at all of my unadorned pillowcases . . . Everything will be stitched before my hands become arthritic!

Yay, my creativity has been juiced!