Friday, December 16, 2011

Slow down the holiday hecticness with a great family activity.
Come with the kids to make some creative and thoughtful handmade gifts.
Read the poster for details or give me a call.
Hope to see you there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Etsy Treasury with Zippers

Now this is a first! This nice treasury included two of my items in their showcase of only 16 on Etsy.
Check it out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Latest Etsy Treasury featuring Me

Just found a new app on craftcult that lets you take a snapshot of Etsy treasuries. Here is a picture of the most recent treasury that has one of my products out of the 28 treasuries I've been featured in. The last picture in the third row is one of my recent lightbulb ornaments. If you click on it, you will go directly to that item in my Etsy store. -- very cool.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Painting With Smoke

I bought an art book this week that I've wanted to buy for several years.

My daughter and I took a workshop from Dean (& friend and artist, Jane Davies) when he was in the process of writing this book. We had a great time that day and were able to try alot of the exercises that are in this book.

One idea of his is to draw with smoke. Sounded like fun to me -I must have some latent pyromaniac tendencies - and I knew that my 15 year old son, Jamie would like it.

Here is my finished piece

Too bad I didn't think about taking pictures while we were making it.
The basic process though was to light a candle, hold the paper (I used poster board) upside down and touch the tip of the flame to the paper. Depending on how you move the flame, you really can get some cool shades of smoke and shapes on the paper. After you have all the smoke you want. he suggests spritzing it with water, erasing some of the marks, and/or adding some charcoal or ink.
I couldn't find an eraser to remove some of the smoke marks, so I used a piece of polymer clay. (worked great). After removing some of the smoke, we then applied a second layer of smoke in places. We also tried misting some water on the paper to see how the second layer of smoke would work on wet paper.

After all that was done, I used my "polymer clay" eraser to make the circles and the sets of horizontal lines.

This was really fun and I already have more ideas for my next smoke drawings. Not only would it look good in my "black/white art only" entryway, I think these sheets would be great to add to collage pieces.

Here is some more information about painting with smoke (called fumage) and more detailed directions. Take a look at Wikihow

Friday, March 26, 2010

Who Knew You Could Do So Much With Covered Buttons

I was looking at some blogs tonight and saw this post and tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets about making thumbtacks and magnets with fabric covered buttons. I like it!

I've always been a fan of fabric covered buttons and I've used quite a few in my years of sewing. I've even had fun playing with them by embellishing them with beads or some hand embroidery. I have several sweaters in my closet that would probably look incredible with some custom fabric beaded buttons. Hummmmm... (I feel another project coming on)

Until today, the only real crafty thing I've seen done with these are some ponytail holders. So, I did some research and thought I'd share some of the fun things people are doing.

The Etsy Shop, Designs by Christi, has several products with covered buttons. She makes ponytail holders and embellishes flip flops with buttons that have your monogram in thread or crystals. -very cute!

Smashed Peas and Carrots has a great tutorial to make this fabric button ring.

Suzanne's Crazy for Collars has several projects and tutorials using fabric covered buttons.

Here's her feather and button brooch

and here's a tutorial Suzanne has for making this colorful covered button choker.

Your Every Color makes these pendants and earrings from covered buttons

these get me so excited for Spring!

Another jewelry item is this bracelet made by Etsy artist, Button Maniac.

Should you be inspired like me, I also found a couple of Etsy stores that sell supplies for making fabric covered buttons and for making jewelry and household items with them.

Tobys Mom has a wide variety of button sizes, bails and adjustable rings.
Start to Finish Supplies has lots of things you can put buttons on -- including cuff links, bracelets, bobby pins, earrings, tie tacks.

If you know of some other craft projects that people have made with fabric covered buttons, let me know.
(now I'm off to look for some mint colored fabric to go with that sweater).

Monday, February 22, 2010

More Curtain Pictures

Here's another picture of our momentous curtain hanging last weekend. In total, we have three windows in our living room.Two small ones and this double window. Now I want to make a couple of matching throw pillows for our sofa.

Our New Living Room Curtains

You know the story about the cobbler's kids and how they have no shoes? Well, in this case, it's the sewer's living room and how it hasn't had any curtains in close to five years. I bought this fabric (11 yards for $25 on ebay- wohoo) after seeing it at Calico Corners, bought the trim. altered the pattern so that the scallops perfectly fit our windows, cut out the fabric and started sewing.....

I didn't like how the trim was looking on the scallops so, I stopped sewing... My poor husband. He wanted the curtains so badly and I had developed a big psychological block against finishing them. It got to be such an issue between us that it became even harder to work on them. What was I to say? "I'm going to go up to the studio and work on the curtains".? There would have been way too much anticipation and pressure. Anyway, David went to Florida for five days and it gave me the time and opportunity to bring them back out. I went to the lumber yard and had the 3" cornice boards cut to size. I took the trim off the one that I had done and I whipped them out. They weren't as bad as I had remembered and getting rid of the trim helped alot (I had visions of hand sewing all the hems).

I gave them to David for Valentines Day and he was so excited. He still is pretty excited about them and comments how great they look all the time. (Personally, they're a bit more formal than what I would pick nowadays). They certainly look better than the bare windows.

Now I just need to make some new cushions for the glider.
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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Cool Design Site For Tea Lovers

Everyone that knows me well, knows that I love my coffee - especially my iced coffee. I drink it 365 days a year despite living in the cold state of Vermont.

I came across the site,, that has a post about creative tea packaging and tea bags. The different designs it features just might turn me into a tea drinker. Here we have an origami bird tea bag.Take a look at the other designs and let me know your favorite.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My own handmade Christmas

Here I am always encouraging people to either make or buy handmade presents for Christmas. I bet you think that I go to Walmart for all my gifts. So, here is so proof that I actually practice what I preach.
Jamie got my favorite handmade gift - a papercut portrait of Victor Wooten. I got the idea from a tutorial on a great blog, Dude Craft. I sent Paul Overton, Mr. Dude Craft, a picture of my Victor portrait and he actually posted it on his blog today. Jamie also got 5 passes that he can use to get out of doing dinner dishes.
I made Kinsey a wristlet from some fake leather (actually I think it might be car upholstery vinyl) that my Mom got at a tag sale several years ago. I knew I'd eventually find a use for it. She had wanted a cute Juicy Couture one for $79. (sorry honey). I did the strap so that she can useit as a wristlet or convert it to a regular short strap.
I think it turned out pretty well given I didn't use a pattern and it was last minute sewing. You can't see it, but I even put a pocket on the other side.
I think her favorite handmade gift was my stocking stuffer, a bottlecap keychain with an image
of her new crush, teen singing sensation, Justin Bieber. If you don't know of him, you can see his You Tube video here.

On niece, Mei, is totally into horses right now. We sent her all of Kinsey's old horse books (recycled gift, next best thing to a handmade gift) and a bottlecap keychain with a cute horse image. Seth has become a skateboarder dude. So, he gets all of Jamie's too small skateboard t-shirts and a personalized skateboarder themed notepad. His initials are BSB which I related to Born to be a Skate Boarder (get it?) Rhys at nearly age 2 gets a polarfleece quillow. They also each got one of my handmade ornament kits so that they'll be ready for next holiday season. Here's a picture of Seth's notepad.

My parents are always tough to get presents for - my siblings are smart and get them food products. I, on the other hand, keep giving them handmade items. I hope they like them. Their gifts had a morel mushroom theme this year. I made them a needle felted morel mushroom tree ornament, felted them a bar of soap and made my Dad a bottle cap keychain with the Yankees logo on it. I also bought them an adorable morel mushroom ceramic tile from another Etsy seller, Lesperencetiles. I had an extra day to wrap their presents and was able to spend more time on it. Look at these cute packages - I love the morel mushroom foil hangtag.

Some of the other handmade items that made their way to people this holiday season were zipper pendants and brooches, felted soap, handmade ornaments, many bottles of our "famous" caesar salad dressing that David made, felted acorn package toppers and ornaments and packages of post-its that were covered in decorative papers.

What a wonderful holiday season it was!