Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Doodling with a dull pencil

Lately I’ve been making a point of having a sketch pad with me wherever I go.  The ideas are flowing fast and furious around me lately so having a place to jot them, sketch them, doodle them out has been helpful to the creative process.
I’ve been thinking a lot about embellishing fabric using paint, embroidery, and applique techniques….even sharpies on fabric.  There is so many ways to make fabric stand out and I’ve been having fun with the experimentation.

Which at some point will make it to this blog.

For now, here’s a doodle…done with a dull pencil while waiting for kids to finish their class this morning:

I started thinking that a swirly bird would be fun in the corner of a small bag…and that’s what I came up with.
I may have to start sketching in pen…or travel with a pencil sharper!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Polka Dots on the Wall

What does this lead to?

It leads to this on the walls in my linen closet:

Those are blue tape circles on a freshly (OK, a few days dry) painted wall.  Here's a closer look:

I cut out multiple multi sized circles out of cardboard, covered the cardboard with blue tape and taped them to the walls.

Then I brought out the red:

Notice the lack of door?  This paint job was done 4 years ago when we re-modeled the house.  (it now has a door--an unpainted door, but still a door!)  I wasn't sure how the circles would turn out, so I "tested" it in the linen closet--and loved the result!  It still makes me happy to go in there and see this wall (it helps when I have to put away the sheets and towels--a job I hate!)

I had planned to use the same concept in my playroom:  a circle for each child with their hand print and date in it. 

That didn't happen.

Go back to that first photo.  I'm sure some of that also lead to this:

Yup, right after I painted those polka dots we found out we were preggers with Missy T.  All other painting got shoved onto Mr. G's every growing list of projects...lots of solid colored walls in this house now....

That's going to change.  The painting bug has bit me again.  I'm looking at bold bright colors, fun & happy designs...and I want to knock out the kitchen walls...

Today Mr. G got on board with the plan.  Can't wait to see how it all turns out! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lost Cow....

I've been browsing thought a copy of 1,000 More Greetings: Creative Correspondence for All Occasions (1000 Series) and have fallen in love with Inky Lips Press.


Because of a lost cow:

from their web site:  http://www.inkylipspress.com/index.html

I know,  I'm a bit weird.  Still, I'd totally hire a company with this kind of imagination--and no, I have no affiliation with them at all.  I just enjoy the humor.

If you haven't seen this series of books you need to check them out!  Some really wonderful ideas and inspirations to be found there!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Writlets Done!

Missy D graduated from preschool today!!  Only one more child to go through pre-school and I can call that phase

The wristlets turned out lovely!  I got over my fear of zippers and by the time wristlet #4 rolled out I was a pro!

Six little bags later:

All wrapped up and ready to be handed out!

I'm really happy with the way these turned out!  Hope the teaches like them!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Social Media???

I’ve been encouraged and convinced to give Facebook a try and I can honestly say I’m really not good at the social media stuff.

I think I finally set up a page for this blog….I think that it works….I think the “like” button will take you to where I want.
Notice all the “I thinks”?

The truth is I’m finding my mind no longer wants to understand the technical aspects of the electronic/computer/cloud world.  Once upon a time I could learn code and apply it, now a mass of mush sits in that area of my brain.
I think my four kids sucked the good parts of my mind out of me.

Case in point:  the oldest is teaching child #2 math—math I once came close to majoring in.
Child #2 is teaching child # 3 to read—wait?  Didn’t I do that for the older kids?

And Child #3 is teaching child #4 the alphabet….another part of my brain no longer in use.
Child #4 is the artist in the family...now I know where my drawing skills went to!

And all 4 kids know more about social media than I do!
I’ll go back to maintaining that they all sucked the knowledge out of me so I would be dependent on them for every computer issue that arises when Mr. G isn’t at home.

CRAP—I’ve become my parents!  When did that happen????
OK.  I’m a bit slow with social media…but I can sew up a pretty wristlet, without screwing up the zipper and add a little rosette just because. 

Now I can only hope the preschool teachers like these little bags as much as I do! (better pictures coming up in tomorrow’s post)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pre-school end of year totes

Let me start by saying, I really like our preschool teachers!  We've been with most of them through three kids now, and one more will start next year...I tend to agonize over what to give them at the end of every year.

That being said, when my oldest went through preschool she picked out this fabric for me to make something for her teachers...I thought: tote bags! 

That was 6 years ago.

Somehow it wound up in my stash, only to be found a few weeks ago.  It didn't inspire me.  I no longer liked it.  But current pre-schooler loved it and wanted bags from it for her teachers...

Six simple tote bags later:

I made these with a large square bottom...lots of cargo room in them!
While I do like the shape and design of the bag I'm still not happy with the fabric...so I'm trying my hand at making some wristlets out of printed denim.  I need six by Friday.  And it's sunny in Seattle.

Never thought I'd be wishing for rain..but I am.  Back to the sewing machine I go!

Linking up here!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It’s that time of year again….

End of the school year!  Teacher gifts! Kids home for the summer!

Preschool is done at the end of this week for child #3 and I’m in a mad rush to complete end of the year teacher gifts for her teachers. Her SIX teachers.  Yup, you read right:  6!!!!!

What in the world am I thinking?
In years past I’ve made baskets and filled them with biscotti, coffee and tea.  I’ve made tote bags.  I’ve bought Starbucks gift cards…

Now I’ve got 3 out of 4 kids in school.  The older two are out end of June, so some time is left there (for their total of 5 teachers!) and “buying” each teacher something is not in the budget.
Plus the fact that I’ve sworn myself to only do handmade gifts…at least until I’ve run out of fabric, beads, embroidery thread…

And yes, I recognize that might be NEVER!
Still, I’m trying hard to stick with that resolution. 

My kids are helping.
Ever since I’ve increased the allowance and made the older kids responsible for buying their friends birthday gifts, my kids have gotten creative too.

Mostly by asking me to sew and or embroider items to be used as gifts.
(I make them pay—for every hour I spend creating they spend an hour in my garden or cleaning the house.  I think I’m getting a deal.)

When my oldest asked me to make a bag for a birthday party recently we ended up with this:
The bag was inspired by Katie over at FoxFlat, I loved the way she made her fold over pockets!

I LOVE the way it turned out!  Not sure if a 10 year old will appreciate the work that went into it, but I hear she liked it—thought it was “store bought” (a compliment I will take any day!)
I loved it so much I thought it would be the basis of the teacher bags this year…but then my machine stopped working, then my other machine started acting up, then I got unmotivated, then, then, then…..
You get the idea.

And here we are—one week before I need 6 teacher gifts.
If you don’t hear from me, I’m chained to my machine sewing like a mad women.

Oh wait, no difference from my everyday sewing experience.
Has anyone else out there been the Queen of Last Minute Projects? Post a comment and award yourself a button!  I know I'm not the only one out here! :-)

Linking up here!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The jacket my mom claimed...

Do you have colors that you are automatically drawn too?  Colors that just call out to you?
I do.  I've always had a thing for all shades of goldenrod yellow.  Something I  must get from my mom.  When she saw the fabric I was working with she asked if I had enough to make her a jacket...then when she saw my jacket finished, she claimed it for her own!

Now I need her to come back for another visit.  I made the jacket to fit me, and (at the moment) I'm larger than she is.  Which means I have to take in the above jacket ...because I don't have enough of the same fabric to make a new one...

Hmmmm....maybe I could break my resolution not to buy any new fabric until I exhaust my stash.  (See mom, I need you here to save me from myself!)  But it's finally a beautiful sunny week in the Seattle area, and shopping/sewing/crafting are the last things on my mind so this will be another project put aside for a rainy day (and around here we have plenty of them!).
Linking up here!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I felt inspired today!  After a week of missing posts and comments (thanks Blogger!) It seems that everything is up and running again in Georgialand.

If you haven’t seen my attempt at Wordless Wednesday (and need a laugh) check it out!
Remember my debate what to do with this piece of fabric? Tonight I came up with a solution: big bottom bag!

I’m making it in a shrug bag/market bag style…check out the in progress:

I’m kind of excited to see this particular embroidery finally find a home.  It was a difficult piece to embroider because my machine didn’t support its size—lots of rehooping and aligning went into it (and I’m sure a few tears too!)

I also found some new music to listen too while sewing!  And my kids totally approve!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Garden Markers

I start many of my plants from seed but never seem to remember what I planted where....and those white plastic garden markers a bit pricey for my taste.  So I searched around the house for something I could use.

Hmmm....that big Costco sized box of white plastic forks--perfect!

I've found pencil has more staying power than a sharpie on these things, and I only use them for those plants that don't have a permanent place in my garden. 

For those plant that are more permanent I have another solution....but that's another post!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What to do with....

What do I do with this?

From Embroidery Library: "This dramatic Native American shield features a bear to represent protection, an eagle for extra perception, a wolf to keep its own safe and an owl to grant wisdom."

It's an embroidery I did on my machine years ago...one of those extra large multiple hoop deals I made more for practice than for an actual project.

How many years has it been sitting pinned to my bulletin board or stashed away--no idea.  I pulled it off the other day and spent a good amount of time staring at it trying to figure out what to do with it.

So far I have:
  • simple tote bag
  • messenger bag with this as the flap, or the back side
  • jacket back (which would probably require me sewing up a denim jacket...haven't seen many at the thrift stores lately)
I guess this is part of my process of stash busting.  I could just put it away again, but that kind of defeats the purpose--it's out and on my table waiting for inspiration to strike.

In other news, my sewing machine (the baby of my machines and my favorite) died on me last night.  I was just a bit pissed. I packed it up to go in to service on Monday and then spent some time making play lists for my sewing space...got some new music and finally added it into my music lists.

While I like it, my kids think I play it too much...really?  too much?  Let's look at their choice of music:

Yeah, let's not complain too much kiddos!

(of course I shouldn't say anything about their music, who was the crazy woman parent who let it into the house to begin with!  yeah, another "blame myself" moment!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Maternity vest to non-maternity vest

Four pregnancies ago I made myself a maternity vest—I live in polar fleece while not pregnant and really missed this staple of my wardrobe once the cooler weather hit.

I chose some shiny printed polar fleece, my least favorite fabric, figuring that I’d only be wearing it for a while.

Somehow I ended up wearing it through all four pregnancies, and then it lay draped over my sewing room chair for the occasions it got too cold while I was working.

I guess subconsciously I must have really had a thing for that vest.

Or at least the pockets.

So when I threw it on the other day and saw myself in the mirror I thought: I really ought to do something about this or just get rid of it.

I ended up taking it in, and while I’m still not wild about the fabric I really LOVE the design. I can fit anything into those pockets! The straight design of the vest is flattering and doesn’t add more bulk to my body.

Now it’s part of my every day wardrobe—and has inspired me to make a couple more…just not as shiny!

Monday, May 2, 2011

More Birthday Gifts...

Another birthday party and my grand idea of making a dolly and me dress for the birthday girl fell apart when my machine started acting up.

Don't you just hate when that happens??

So I pulled out my go to gift for preschoolers:  Fuse Beads!

You've seen them on this blog before: here and here.

The Dollar Tree came through for me once more with a pink water bottle and basket...I just added the beads and peg boards:

I made a little bag for the peg boards...on the back-up machine which is only really good for straight stitches.  All things considering, it turned out kind of cute.

But the basket still looked a little empty....

I managed to get my serger to cooperate enough to do this simple skirt:

Now the present is ready!  Hope she likes it!