Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hey, Its Those Sewing Projects I Promised

All these projects have been made in the past couple months and for some reason never got photographed or posted.

First up is a Sashiko Stitched Saddle Bag Purse. The pattern comes from Stitch Magazine, Fall 2009. The outside is a shiny pretty blue fabric that was going to be part of a halloween costume that never happened. The stripes inside are left over from a messenger bag I never finished. The asian is a random fat quarter I had in my stash.

Of all the embroidery I've done in the past this is the first that is done in sashiko. The traditional Japanese stitch was used to hold together layers of fabric in winter kimonos. There are many traditional patterns all done in the simple running stitch.

Bag opened up so you can see the two pockets. This seperation makes it great to put my electronics and sun glasses in one side and things that would scratch them in the other. The pockets are just big enough to slide a note book in making it perfect for grocery day or carying a sketch book.

Here is the detail shot of the sakura blossom. The pink thread wasn't quite right but I like that the flower is a little hidden. There is also a blanket stitch around the patch.

Next up is a scraf born from compulsion. When I saw the pattern in the lattest Quilting Arts Magazine I just had to make it. All the patch work fabric is from fat quarters in my stash. The back is left over from a swap I did last year.
The colors don't seem to go with anything in my wardrobe so I'm going to send it to Mom. It is so her colors.
Time: 5 hours
Cost: $0

And last is a little bear purse I made as a 50% scale prototype for the Goth Loli Swap I'm working on. I think he needs a nose and maybe wiskars. The zipper will work a little better in the full size bear. Otherwise he is pretty cute.
Pink gingham is scraps from my Sickly Sweet halloween costume. All other bits are from my stash.
Time: 1.5 Hours
Cost: $0

An ATC made from the leftovers from the bear bag. It is called "Loli Leftovers". I think it is super sweet.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ATCs Today, Sewing Projects Later

I'm doing the Ongoing ATC Swap for the month of December of Craftster. You get to pick a theme from the person who posts before you. Then the person after you picks something from your list to send to you. Here are prototypes of the first four I've sent out. Somehow I managed to not take pictures of the ones I sent out before they went in the mail.

For calluna's theme "Tea". Collaged tea bag hang tags with embossed vellum tea leaf.

For Oyhanna's theme "Zebras". Acrylic paint on clear Shrinky Dinks; watercolor background. (woot, I hand painted that)

For WiccadWitch's theme "Pagan". Layered vellum moons on mat board; Diamond clear on woman for shine and dimension
For tehbunnykins theme "Celtic". Her version is actually a celtic knot clover instead of the circle. Needle Tatted Lace object on paint stamped cotton.
And most importantly, the first card I have received in the swap. A "Non Paper" card from calluna. Hand beaded on shiny fabric. So lovely and a great start to the swap.

I have also been doing some prototyping for the Goth Loli Swap as well as working on a new outfit for myself. There has even been some compulsive sewing of purses and scarfs. Those pics are forthcoming based on the sunshine. I can seem to get decent photos indoors this evening.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

See, I've Been Crafting

I just wanted to show that I do actually do a bit of crafting everyday. This is the aftermath of a book binding project. I needed a little bank register for using my debit card. It is the little spiral book behind the novel, to the left of the salt and pepper shakers. But this is what my coffee table looks like at least once a week.

And here is helpful kitty, Vash, at the of of the craft shelves. He is becoming quite the climber. I may have to get stronger boxes to hold his weight as he gets bigger. Those cardboard Ikea things just aren't gonna do it in the future.

Coming up next: A patchwork scarf, wrist pin cushion, saddlebag purse, all with photos not from my cell phone.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Little Lolita

I was in a sewing slump and a Gothic Lolita craze a few months ago. I came across a really cool style of GL called Wa Loli in which a traditional Japanese Kimono or Yukata was paired with fluff and adorableness. Just my cup of tea. I looked forever and found a great tutorial for kimono/yukata online. I found out later that the designer of the tute has been on my etsy favs list for ever, lovely coincidence discovering her again.

I took the pattern and down sized it to try it out first. My model, of course, is Poppy. She was so happy at the prospect of a new outfit that she was in the clouds. I also made a sweet fluffy tulle skirt and matching obi belt to complete the look.
Here are a couple pics from the photo shoot. There are larger versions and a couple extra on my flicker page.
I have finished the larger version for myself. Mine is a bit more punk to go with a shorty tutu I got at Hot Topic (no teasing now). I made it black and white so that it can be versatile with other skirts and obis mix and match style. I will post pics as soon as the husband comes home (to photo) and if the weather gets better anytime soon.
Oh, and I remembered to post all this because I joined a Goth/Loli swap. I'm all excited about loli again now!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Crazy Cat

So I haven't had as much time to craft lately as I would like. I got a kitten a couple months ago and he is no conducive to crafty endeavors. Here is Vash "helping" me crochet a rug. This is the third time I've crocheted this rug actually. The first time it was round and done with a hook that was way to small for the tshirt yarn. The second time the rug magically became two small round rugs with the correct, Q, sized hook. They just seemed too small. So Now it is an oblong shape that seems to be just perfect for the space it is in. What a difference the correct hook can make.

And I'm finally posting pics of the Halloween pop up ATCs from a swap last month. Mostly I'm lazy about getting pics up. I made two of each this time since I'm always a little sad to put so much work into these and then just ship them away. I'm not sure if it is healthy to have separation anxiety with your art but at least I solved the problem.
The first one is my favorite way to kill a zombie. There is a clear acetate pull tab that makes the chainsaw dig into the zombies head.

Next is a classic pull tab that makes the mouth open and close and the eyeballs move up and down. The two are a little different because the first is all over shiny with a coat of Diamond Clear. I did this to cover up a few gluey mistakes but really like the way it came out in the end.

This one is just a standard pop up of a gruesome dead hand. The tomb stone says "Izzy Dead" My partner's says "R.U. Dead." Typical, I know...
This one was done as a special request for a Nightmare before Christmas fan. This is Oogie Boogie and his roulette wheel of doom. The wheel spins, nothing fancy but fun to play with.

And last, a little haunted house with ghosties, bats and a witch flying across the moon. Another wheel type but done on acetate to show the moon color through the hole.

By the way, all of the art work here is hand drawn by me! No stealing images from the net this time. That was a big challenge for a clip art nerd like me!
I really have done other crafting these last couple of months. I will try to get pics up while the husband is out next month. I made a Ruffle Tshirt Skirt, Sashiko Saddle Bag Purse, Harajuku Yukata and anything else I can find.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Little Frustrated

I've been working on some amazing ATCs for a swap. The theme is Halloween Pop-Ups. I'm so in to the idea of this since I did the interactives for the ABC ATC swap. Unfortunatley, I'm getting a little fed up with it at every step.

First off the sign up date was pushed back to allow a few people to clear their swap que. No big deal except the due date wasn't changed. Also, the new quantity of swapers changed the the quantity of partners per group. We are now making 5 differant cards with a week less to do it.

Secondly, I decided to hand draw all the elements in my cards. This is a first for me. I realy enjoy others drawn out work and feel that it brings a personal touch. This, and the fact that I am making sure to make a copy of each for myself this round, has doubled my production time.

Lastly, I've already received two cards from early sending partners. I wish they both would have used more of their time to research and refine their ideas. The ideas they each had were great but poorly executed. The first is a bit unfinished but otherwise I can't complain. The second is a red hot mess. The idea is brilliant and I wish I would have thought of the moon phase pull tab but... *sigh* it is just so poorly put together.

I put so much thought and effort into my art and take pride in a finished product. This just dosen't feel like an equivalent exchange. The only thing I can do is post pics and try to be nice. I'm sure others will see the quality and understand. Just say the nice things and let the work speak for itself. And of course stop being so critical of my own work. Bleh. I can't wait to be done with paper and glue. I really want to sew this week.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Inchies From Heaven

I just finished a great swap of inchies. I received my last set today. It was a welcome gift after pulling weeds at the demand of the army for 3 hours. I sent mine out last week and enough people have received that I think its safe to post my sets. (that and no one will probly read it anyway)

These buttons are attached with Diamond Clear. They are super shiny. I wish that I would have stitched them before glueing, oops.

These are called "In Stitches." Embroidery is done on denim squares filled with my favorite stitches.

From top left: Chain, Couching, Cloud fill, Button Hole, Basket Weave, Brick Stitch, French Knots, Sheef Stitch.

Here is a set of Origami. The animals are folded from one inch squares making it doubley inchified.

From top left: Crane, Blue Bird, Pig, Cat, Whale, Turtle, Butterfly

"Poker Night" set was made from a deck of mini playing cards to hold even mini-er cards.

From top left: CHEATER!, Flush, Aces and Eights, Pair of Jacks, Full House, Duces Wild, Straight Flush, Stright

Embossed copper sheets make up the "Copper Texture" set. I was going to add some patina or aging but they were so happy looking when this shiny. Oh, there is another four letter word but I decided to keep that one for myself. *snicker*

I cut out some mutants and other Marvel comic characters for the set "My Hero". This is my favorite set and my husband almost didn't let me send them out.

From top left: CPT America, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Spiderman, She Hulk, Thor, Hulk, Ironman.

These are the least inpresive looking set untill you hold them up to the light. The black squares are slides from a Veiw Master reel about sea life. I am very proud of myself for this set as I love to have art you can play with. I call the set "Look" in honor of being interactive.
I can't wait for all my partners to receive. I hope they all like what I made. I know I had a great time putting them all together.
I super excited to put there peices in the inchie frame to fill in those blank spots. I have just the place in my studio to hang the finished collage.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Couple Quick Projects

I'm still unpacking and trying to get my house set up. As I go along I think of a million projects that still need to be done. It is nice to have a few small things to do at night when I'm worn out after all that house work.

I discovered a set of tarot cards that have been in storage for the last three years. This is a beautiful deck that needs a special bag. I had a peice of denim laying on the couch looking mysteriously like a pouch with a spiffy flap. So I embriodered up the seams and left the edges raw. I even found a perfect clear button that shows of the button hole.

These balls of plarn are sitting in the clover waiting to become a welcome mat. Each ball is made of 10 bags and takes about 1 1/2 hours to put together. Once crocheted they will carefully remove the mud from Mike's boots and stand up to the constant rain we get here.

Lastly, I promised the fine people at craftster that I would photo this as soon as I unpacked it. This set of inchies is titled "Sudoku No Choji". Choji is Japanese for butterfly and all the pieces have bits of Sudoku answers in them. I made the frame and mat back at the frame shop in Germany. I miss that place.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Finaly Settling In

I havn't posted in a long time but I have still been crafting. The problem with moving back to the states is that there is a long time when you don't get to your stuff. In our case it was over two months. Except for having a limited wardrobe I really missed having all my craft stuff on hand whenever I wanted. So I had to decide just what to bring with to keep me busy. This craft had to be light and compact, keep me busy for looooong periods of time and be alowed on aircraft. I narrowed it down to embriodery. It is small enough that I could put it in my pocket if I had too but varied enough that I wouldn't get bored with it easily. But what will I do with all these little works of art? The inspiration was just next door. My neighbor in Germany made a quilt of little skulls for her son and I totally ripped off the idea (with her aproval, of course). I was also inspired by the tattoos that my husband and I had recently got. Add it all together and you get an Embroidered Tattoo Quilt.

Here are the first pannels from a project that will probly take me 15 years to finish.

This is the first embriodery for the tattoo quilt. It is a zombie girl in the Dios De Los Meurtos style. Unfortunatly the design is "borrowed" randomly from a flash web page. If you know or are the original artist I would love to give credit for the art. My favorite part is the netting over her hair. Finished in April 09 at my mom's house during a quilter's meeting.

This is my second embroidery for the quilt. Inspired by the "incognito" tattoo. You get a mustache on the inside of your finger so you can put it up to your lip and you will be in disguise. The twist is that this mustache belongs to Alex Louise Armstrong (seen below) from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist. Notice the pink glitter, thats my fav part! Designed and finished while playing "All Flesh Must be Eaten" at Jon's house May 2009.
The next embroidery for the tattoo quilt was inspired by those generic hearts with "mom" on a banner across them. Everyone has seen them. I like my mom but I think nerds deserve some love too. Designed and finished during that same game of "All Flesh Must be Eaten" at Jon's house May 2009.
And last (for now) this is a classic Sailor Jerry tat. I think the white highlights came out a bit bright but I'm sure not taking it all out. I finished it while sitting in the motel room waiting to get our house on post, June 2009.

Right now I'm working on a lovely mermaid pinup. I'm about half way through. Oh yeah, and I did up a logo for an yet unstarted etsy page. We'll see how that goes in the next couple of weeks.
I'm also working on unpacking a millon boxes. We were down graded in houses and I'm going a little crazy with a lack of storage in this place. We are also lacking so much wall space that I can't hang 2/3s of my art. Thats what happens when this is the first place we've been in with no stair well.

If you have some ink you would like featured on the quilt please send me a pic. And if you would like to see larger pics of the embriodery you can check out my flickr page. More of all the crafty goodness will be coming soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Long Time No Craft

I know... not doing so good on the post-once-a-week resolution. Well, it has been tougher than I thought. I did finish my first crocheted sweater, though I can't manage to get a decent picture of it. I also have made a few ATCs wich are put away and ready to be packed. Did I mention that we've been preping to move back to the U.S.? It takes time away from the crafting. That and reading too much instead.

I have done a few things latley though. I got all the inchies framed from a swap last year. I left room for another 50 I may receive in round 2 but missed the sign up. More waiting then. I was the custom framer on an Army post in Hohenfels, Germany so the matting and frame are custom built for the job. I must have had a slow week to want to do all the math for that mat cut.

Mike and I got a little obsesed with our Nintendo DSs this last month, too. They realy have come a long way since they first came out and only had weird games with convoluted use of the stylus. Plus Mike seems to be learning Japanese from his. Anything we use this much must be worthy of a customized case. After doing a little research I took bits I liked from lots of designs and drafted a patern. Two prototypes later we have one of a kind awsomeness. Haley, my coworker's daughter, also got one cause she rocks and drew a bee for me that I will someday get tattooed. Thnaks Haley!

Here are a three Pretty Little Pin Cushions. I made them as samples for my last class with Katie. Top one is made of scrap cotton; middle is silk ties; bottom is squares from Angie. Angie got the bottom one as a gift for finaly coming home from visiting her familiy.

P.S. I had a pain in the butt posting these pics just now. They kept wanting to be choped off by the minimum pixel count for this lay out. Thanks to The Blogger Guide for the HTML help. I'm useless with that kind of left brain thing.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Photos, Phinaly

Oh my, I've done it. My new camera is up and running. You will probably be able to see the difference in the quality of between old and new camera. The Fuji was getting a little senile and taking strangely colored pics. Now I have a Sony Cyber Shot. New and cute and small and black and new and 10 mega pixels and new. So now to those crafty things.

Ok, Claus isn't crafty. But he dose deserve a little memorial. He was a good fish. Don't cry Lonnie. He was given a beautiful ceremony (down the toilet)

First real craft up is Poppy. I made Poppy to make sure that the pattern we were using in sewing class would be fairly easy and well designed. It was neither. We still made it. (see Katie with Emily in past post) I was so frustrated with the pattern that my version say around naked for months. I finally promised Katie that Poppy would have some proper clothes, not just a tutu.

The black and gold dress was down sized from my old dress. I had fond memories of it and just couldn't throw it away. Now Poppy can wear it to a Halloween party thrown by her future husband. (we never got those fire works to explode the toy tank). I also crocheted a little hat and scarf for the cold winter months we are now experiencing.

Time: 10 hours for doll and clothes
Cost: Free, all scraps and recycled material

Next is a tiny cross stitch pattern that the shop had about 50 of up until this Christmas. We finally got so sick of seeing them that they were given away as a "gift with purchase." I bought some glitter and yarn and picked of this delightful (read "gag me") creature. Of course I had to twist it to my tastes. Originally the thing was supposed to be tossing snow balls. Now it is throwing its own decapitated head. Trust me after seeing these things and counting them in 2 yearly inventories you would have done the same.
Time: 5 hours of killing time
Cost: Freebie and a small part of my soul

My obsession with all things Japanese and kawaii has led me to collect bento boxes. Historically, they are small lacquered (now plastic) that the Japanese carry there lunches in. Rice and other food is shaped and arranged to be pleasing to the eye as well as the stomach. I got bored packing all four of mine this week. After some cute flowers out of veggies and baby birds from hard boiled eggs I couldn't resist something more twisted. Enjoy Evil Hello Kitty Monster.
Eggy brains fall out of teriaki meat face. Glowing red tomatoes for eyes and a cheesy grin. So yummy and so scary.
Time: about 2 hours for all four boxes of food and arranging
Cost: mostly left over and I already owned the boxes

Lots more going on this week and plenty of time to work on it. I will have 2 days in the waiting room at Landstuhl while Mike gets his first exam for eye surgery. I also have a couple of commissions to do all while sorting and prepping the house for an overseas move in 3 months.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

No More XMas

Yeah! Xmas is over. Anyone who has ever worked retail will understand my pain. Crazy busy for two months and now there is virtualy nothing to do at work. Except make myself look busy.

Good news is, I have definately gotten back to crafting. I made the hat for Mike as discussed in the last post and even started on the sweater. I completed a few small projects and have plenty on my list still. Hopefully now that dear Katie has her own sewing machine I will have Mondays to sew for myself now. (we'll see how that pans out). Meanwhile, Mike is back on a miniatures kick. There is an entire army of WWII dudes waiting to be painted in my living room. I miss painting minis to so there is also a small contingent of elves and pegasus. Oh, and he bought me Pokethulhu minis for Xmas that I started on tonight. The large Pikatulhu took more resculpting of the metal than any other pewter cast I have ever seen. I also have three small and one GINORMOUS dragons to paint. So much to do, so little time. *sigh*

Along with all of that the house is slowly getting cleaned and reorganized due to the moving in 3 months thing. I will be without my craft supply collection for months! At least we will be back on planet USA and near some great craft stores. As though I need more.

----new pics next post, I swear. maybe even tonight if they are easy edits------