Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Embroidery on terry cloth toweling

Completed this embroidery experiment on an old handtowel.
Lesson learned AFTERWARDS: When embroidering on looped terry cloth, prepare fabric by ironing the towel in one direction to "smush" down the loops.
  • The circles were drawn on with water soluble ink pen using coins as template.
  • Stitches employed: split, satin, running, backstitch and interlaced running stitch.
  • Lime green embroidery floss and aqua heavier pearl cotton.

(The grosgrain ribbon actually matches the floss but appears darker.)

You like the soy-cles?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Shiny Metal Stuff

Shiny stuff makes me say, CAW CAW!

Metalliferous is the end-all be-all source for jewelry crafters. For this part time jewelry dabbler, it was sensory overload.
Shopping in real estate challenged Manhattan is not like languidly walking the aisles of your local big box Hobby Lobby. Metal bookshelves are arranged in aisles about 24" apart with hundreds of boxes on each rack and a sample item glued on the outside. Place your selected items in a bag and record the price on bag. And constantly find someone in YOUR way or yourself in someone else's path. Get yourself some tunnel vision, know what the hell you want and get out!
So, not knowing what I NEEDED, I quickly scanned the boxes and grabbed these random items. The photo represents about $ 12.00
Stay tuned to see where the metal trinkets show up!

Fish, alligators, angels, armadillos, OH MY!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ant on your shirt

Nephews enjoyed watching DVD of the old school cartoons "The Ant and The Aardvark" (remember, from the Pink Panther series?) so I surprised them with their very own Ant T-shirts.

* Outline of ant traced from coloring book illustration.
* The red body is appliqued with iron-on Wonder Under fusible stuff.
* Using a water soluble pen, the facial details, hair and antennae were drawn onto red body and embroidered with black floss.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Scraps o' fabric

Skitzo Leezra:
My mom was a daughter of a Depression era mother and thus, could not throw away a fabric scrap. Every dress made by her included a matching purse or headband or both. I thought it was because she liked doing that. She recently told me that it was part of the fabric obsession. Guess what? I cannot toss fabric either but am glad to report that I have one friend that quilts and another that makes baby bibs so no worries about little piles of scraps.

Of course, now that I've discovered the joys of the drawstring bag, the tiniest bit of fabric can turn into some kind of recyclable (environmentally friendly!)gift bag, which is good since I'm beyond the hair scrunchy days.
I am actively working, though, to eschew my Depression Era gene pool. I cut up old t-shirts and tank tops for rags this weekend, and instead of saving the tank-top arm straps--a la my great great grandmother who buried her cash in a mayonnaise jar in her dirt basement rather than trust a bank--I THREW THEM AWAY. Baby steps.

Happy sewing!

Craft Karma

I am going to heaven, through my good works in craft. I am certain of it.
Friday night, Hayes, the eldest 10 year old nephew, spent the night with me. He brought over the remains of his beloved "mine", his mom's satin-y Vic's Secret pajama that he adored as a child and apparently still does. He pulled it out of his bag and asked if we could make something out of it. I suggested a sham style pillowcase.
Bless me already, right? We measured, cut out, pinned and then I sat him in front of sewing machine. He was a bit surprised when I instructed him to situate his foot on the pedal and hands on the machine. But he did surprisingly well. He was really proud of himself and got into it. After he fell asleep, the control freak in me took it back to attach a Velcro dot on the back to mind the gape in back. When I showed it to him the next day, he studied it and asked how I sewed in a circle. Already he is analyzing stitches and such!
Then Saturday the other two nephews came over for individual craft time. They selected chunky foam stamps, applied paint and stamped onto pre-cut greeting cards. They both loved the process and were quite proud of their artwork. Walter, the 5 year old, used a huge fleur-de-lis that was too large for the card. This is his blue paint card. It was so awesome that I copied it after he left.

Gregory, the almost 4 year old, stamped a blue butterfly onto red paper. Quite striking, gonna copy that too. It is way more cheerful than anything I would ever do. (My stamping friend laughs at my constant choices of "dirt colors". I love me some taupe, brown and olive!)

Create some crafting karma for yourself!

Older than my years

Now that I am a Southern female of certain age, genetics and heritage have kicked in and I have taken up embroidery. I LOVE it and am so content when I have a free night to stitch in front of TiVo enhanced television. So far, mostly experiments on linen teatowels but yesterday I purchased those old fashioned iron-on patterns of cats performing household chores. You heard me!
I draw a line at the stoopid Holly Hobby bubbleheaded bonnet girls but a cat going to market or a laundry washing feline cracks me up.

What's in the bag, pussy?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Embroidered napkins

Cute nephew's Montessori school has the children use a cloth napkin each day instead of paper towels. Said napkin must have child's name on it. WooHoo! Sounds like a project for the crafty aunt.

Napkins bought on clearance from Martha Stewart collection. 70 cents for two!

* With a water soluble pen, I traced around a quarter coin six times and drew letters to spell Foster. Completed with backstitch.

* With same pen, traced a sailboat stencil and used split stitch.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Purchased a box of fabric at a recent estate sale. It was chock full of high end upholstery remnants, ribbon, trim, doll clothing, you name it. Found this piece of cat print fabric with faux cross stitch and lace. Well, that kind of artifice just galls my inner crafter and I was wondering WHO the HELL I was gonna pass it on to. I mean, it was ugly but I am not one to THROW AWAY perfectly good fabric and by now you should know that I don't really do "cutesy". Then it hit me. It could be MY version of cutesy.

Electro-Cat was born. Though Electro-Cat has mutant pink claws, it has the ability to stun objects with its X-ray sequin and bead eyes. Even appliqued cars with metal snap wheels. Who knows where Electro-Cat will reside, a tote, a jean jacket?

Keep your eyes peeled for Electro-Cat but don't hold Electro-Cat's gaze too long. You might just get Hyp-No-Tized!

Dog themed cigar box purse

  • Wood cigar box

  • Decoupaged canine images

  • Nylabone chew toy used as handle, not pictured

  • Brass corner protectors

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mom says

My mom says that

  • once you have handled a fabric, it is forever imprinted in your memory. If you see it from 20 yards or 20 years later, you will instantly recognize it.

  • the ugliest fabrics can produce some of the cutest things. Much like ugly parents often have beautiful children.

Mallys says:

I used to sew much more than I do now, so I always had hilarious shorts made from fabric that no one else wanted to buy, or that Mom had sitting in the basement from days gone by. Imagine Raggedy Ann & Andy shorts, "Stinkweed" shorts that featured a skunk in too-big high heels smelling flowers, and shorts with Latin text in tiny paragraphs.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

NYC, baby!

Checked out the seasonal display change at Ralph Lauren's Rhinelander store. Spied cool vines attached to wall, very organic. Neat quilt composed of menswear wool squares.

Anthropologie store window stopped me in my tracks with a fantasy craft room complete with a zinc topped table, inspiration wall and loot worthy of covetousness. Oh, how I could have "liberated" that stash. Good that it was behind glass. So very good.

This array of Anthropologie tea towels caused me to utter my shopping mantra.

"Wow, that is really cute/pretty/neat.
How much?
Oh, I could make that."

As always, visited a couple flea markets. This ribbon whore had to satisfy her urges by just looking at the absurdly priced vintage ribbon. In all honesty, I would probably just look at it anyway and not bring myself to take scissors near it. A photo sufficed nicely.

Weird horse painting.

Snakeskin boots. Genuine snakeskin boots.
SO real that the head is still attached.

And no shopping jaunt is incomplete without my other shopping mantra. Actually, it is more of exclamation.
"Caw! Caw! Shiny stuff!"