I'm so excited to finally get to show everyone these super fun rubber stamps by Roben-Marie Smith and even more honored to be considered part of a design team that includes some super talented artist!
So there's a little blog hop going on right now ... come along and check out the art that everyone created using Roben-Marie's rubber stamps. You'll soon see that the art is among the best I've seen in a long time ... and the variety is vast and great!
These are the samples I made using the rubber stamps ... One thing you'll notice is that the stamps are really big and so much fun to use in mixed media, shrink plastic and for embroidering on clothing or napkins, or ... well just about anything!
I was channeling my inner Roben-Marie when I creating this tag.
Here's the GIVEAWAY >>> This 6 arrow shrink plastic necklace ... leave a comment, or even just say "Hi" and I'll toss your name into the pot and on May 8th I'll pick a winner!
The shrink plastic necklaces were just too much fun to make ... I couldn't stop ... It's one of those addicting kind of crafts!
And then at some point late one night, I grabed bits of odds and ends and created this little collage masking off one of the rubber stamp to show just one little cross.
And then this happened ... a little bit of embroidery on a panel that was stamped using three of the rubber stamp images and black StazOn ink and then stitched to a onesie!
Ok, I have to admit ... my pieces are a bit out there, but as I was telling Roben-Marie, I am so in love with these stamps that my mind kept jumping from project to project and I my hands couldn't keep up with my ideas!
Here's what I did to make the above shrink plastic arrow necklace:
In case you haven't figured it out yet ... I LOVE TO FREE MOTION STITCH!
I LOVE everything about it ... the imperfections that happen because I was going too fast, or not fast enough. I Love the buttery feeling under my hands as I navigate the sewing machine over simple plain muslin.
And then to see the outcome, after a little bit of stress and tense shoulders is always worth it!
Here's what I did:
First you want to go to the Burlap Tote Tutorial I have a few days here and cut out all the parts and pieces needed to make one of those totes.
What I did not realize was just how much the boots I was wearing was going to effect the control, or in this case, lack of control ... I had with the foot pedal! Oh, my ... total lead foot here!
And there you have it ... Easy Peasy and one so fun ... and the perfect size and shape to hold your laptop and wallet ... oh any you lipstick!
And this? And guess what? They are the perfect size tote to carry a large laptop!
Right around the holidays I found these amazing fabrics ... Printed Burlap ... Oh my! I was in love and right away I knew what I was going to make with them.
When I got home from the fabric store, I started riffling through my mass of stash fabrics and gathered a few coordinating cotton for lining and jute webbing to be used as the straps. Oh and a bit of silk shantung ... Love to mix unexpected fabrics!
Want to make some?
Here's what you do:
I was in mass production mode here. As you can see I have 3 totes in the works at one time!
Printed burlap tote : : Easy Peasy!
It was a crafty kind of day at our house a few days ago. My son Corry, home from college, is loving the quiet of the house with just a few friends near by and the warmth pups! He was looking for something to make ... hummm.
I reminded him of all the hides of leather we recently acquired ... Ok, truth be told ... we went dumpster diving ... So worth it ... we scored 6 huge hides of leather ... and if you can belive it, we didn't take it all. There were several hides I left behind simply because I didn't care for the color. What was I thinking?
Anyways ... Corry loves to draw and paint and doodle, being the art major that he is and so he set out to learn how to make leather journals.
He was out in the man cave for hours ... reading and watching videos, trying to figure out what he wanted to make ... then, these happened!
After several hours, he mastered it! Of course I wanted a journal too and so for this tutorial, Corry made me a journal while I shot the photos and typed away ... Hope we didn't miss any steps!
Here's what you do:
It was weekend of work, work and even more work ... and I couldn't stop the ideas from flowing.
In fact I got up early Saturday morning and then went to bed late that night with my mind still spinning over new ideas to stitch/sketch/doodle/paint on fabric and paper.
I couldn't stop thinking about all the possibilities for this type of organic, free motion stitching, doodling, sketching, painting ... or whatever you want to call it.
Here's what I did:
I first adhered a panel of muslin to a panel of white batting, using spray adhesive. Next I cut out a few circles in a variety of colors and glued them down using a fabric glue stick. And then the fun began ... I free motion stitched around the circles creating flowers and just random shapes.
Next I painted the panel using these acrylic paints. I added color to the insides of the petals and to the outer edges of some flowers. At some point I even went in and added some white paint just to pop a few areas.
And then ... of course ... a little embroidery with white perl cotton adds the little perfect details that I love so much.
So fun don't you think? More samples to come ... Lord knows I made a ton!
Have you seen the latest edition of Stitch Craft Create?
You may remember that the first edition featured my quilted trees on the cover ... And today, they are offering one of my pieces on the Stitch Craft Create blog as a free project!
So cute, don't you think ... a quilted cozy for a bouquet of flowers, just in time for mothers day. You can find the post here along with the list of tools and instructions needed to make this cozy.
Here's a peak at a couple of the other projects I have in this latest edition ... free motion stitched infinity scarf,
A simple rolled rose necklace ... but the best part about this project is that the roses are interchangable.
The sky is the limit here with the different color combinations.
I'm so happy for the good people behind this magazine and Shannon, the editor couldn't be more professional and just really great to to work with. Congratulations F + W Media Inc. on another successful publication!
I've been carving rubber stamps lately, something that I thought I would NEVER do ... but I have to tell you, it is SOOOO much fun.
Yesterday I woke up to a text message from Jen Osborn, we are friends on facebook and from time to time we chat back and forth ... I love her art. There weren't any words in the message, just a photo of her 2 latest paintings.
So fun don't you think?
I got inspired ... and I loved her barn, tree and of course her signature skeleton head ... I decided to carve some rubber using her images as inspiration.
I know, I know ... the barn is falling over ... oh well, it happens.
So simple and yet soooo Jen!
Of course I couldn't well enoguh alone ... out came the Glimmer Mists.
So sweet don't you think? Love this one ... I couldn't stop stamping ........!
Here's what you do:
Find a simple image that you like and simply sketch it out onto an eraser or this pink rubber. Next, using the smallest carving blade, outline the image and then cut out the details.
For larger shapes just use a scissor or a craft knife and cut out around the image, then carve out the interior details.
Thanks Jen for the inspiration!
After a little bit of brainstorming, I was off and running, searching for the perfect black/dark gray fabric to make our uniforms from.
We decided on the middle fabric that I found at Fabric Land, my local high-end fabric store. Here's a couple reasons why we loved this fabric ... First we all liked the deep dark color and secondly, the fiber content is a polyester and rayon blend. Easy to wash and wear, and that poly will make the dress industrial strength and the rayon adds a little bit of fluidity and swing.
After taking Jenny's measurements, I then drafted a pattern for her, referring to a little sketch I had drawn and shared with everyone. OH how I love to draft patterns. It had been a while since I had really drafted a pattern and had to use my skills from my days in the garment industry. I loved it then and love it now. There's a bit of creativity in drafting a pattern ... your brain needs to be able to think in 3D terms and there is also a certain amount of math and science involved, which I also love!
After cutting all the pieces out, I then over-locked or serged all the edges and did a quick stay stitch around the neck front and back and marked the center front with a long hand sewn basting stitch.
Next, I pinned all the pieces together and then basted all the seams together, yes, I run over the pins with my sewing machine!
This dress can be worn forwards or backwards and the insertion of this little pleat in the back or front, depending on how you are wearing it, really gives the dress that extra little flare.
After fitting the dress to Jenny, little to no alterations were needed, so I sewed over all the seams and then pressed them open, set the sleeves, dropped in the facings, marked the buttonhole placement and then stitched the 10 buttonholes! Yes, 10 ... count them. Oh, then came the buttons ... I decided to just use a random assortment of vintage and not so vintage black and gray buttons that I found in my black button mason jar.
And then to finish the dress ... the hem!
Check out Jenny's blog today and check out how many people are receiving fresh clean water!
She's got this dress all dolled up and ready for a day out!
My Husband just called to inform that he will be traveling in the upcoming months ... It's Japan again ... my favorite place!
He travels there often and always returns home with some very interesting candy for my kids. We never know what it will be and I have to tell you, I have only actually tried a few of the 'sweets' he has brought back.
Why you might ask ... well here's why ... I learned early on in his traveling days that a lot of the Japanese candies are made from bean paste ... and I love beans, but here's where I have an issue ... I can not wrap my brain around the idea that beans are a sweet treat. To me the are salty, savory and are often slathered with onions and cilantro. So ... do you understand my problem?
Here's a funny story ... so my mother had a Japanese foreign exchange student named Yoshiko come to live her for a year. We introduced her to all of our favorite foods, including refried beans ... she tried them and nearly spit them out on her plate ... she could not wrap her brain around the idea that they were not sweet!
Japanese Candy Collage and Doodles
The wrapping and presentation is a feast for my eyes ... I love all the color and love the attention to details.
Japanese Candy Wrapper Collage:
Unwrap and flatten colorful candy wrappers ... feed the candy to your children!
Cut out random shapes and swirls from the wrappers.
Using a glue stick, randomly adhere the pieces to a panel of watercolor paper.
Free motion stitch the wrappers in place and then onto the card in swirls and loop patterns.
Add some color with watercolor pencils and doodle shapes with a black marker.
Here's to Japanese candy, happy and safe travels for my husband and crafting and doodling!
It's all about the bokeh these days ... you know the blur you get in the background of a photograph when you open up the aperture on your lens and then focus in on a subject that's pretty close. This works best with a focal length of 50mm or more and a wide open aperture!
One important element that helps to accentuate this effect are twinkling lights in the background. It doesn't need to be twinkle lights really but just bits of light shinning through trees will help you get that effect also.
With a little bit of patience and practice you can add some really fun, cool affects to your photographs.
While focusing on a particular subject can be a little challenging, the look is just way to fun to not keep playing till you get a photo that really speak to you. LOVE this love photo!
Ok, how much fun is this photograph? The only thing missing are raindrops on the flower petals.
So ... here I'm purposely out of focus to accentuate the bokeh shaped raindrops.
I love this filter I made. Can you imagine photographing a church or an outdoor wedding using this effect? BEAUTIFUL if you ask me!
Here's what you do:
Trace the lens cap onto a black piece of card stock and cut out circle.
Using a light colored pencil, draw a small shape in the center of the black circle and then cut out using a craft knife.
Cut a strip of black card stock the circumference of the circle and then snip into the strip.
Wrap the clipped strip around the black circle and tape in place.
Now ... go play and experiment!
As you can imagine, the sky is the limit here!
Here are a few other bokeh filters I made. I shot all these at night ... forcing the bokeh effect with the twinkle lights that are hanging from my back patio all year long!
If you're new to this whole photography thing and want to take that DSLR out of auto mode ... You might want to consider taking this class I'm teaching ... Photography 101: Shooting Beyond Auto Mode. I know that the february date is nearly full, but there are still a few spot open for the March 17th date!
Ok so, I have been crafting for lots of years, and tried lots of different products that do lots of different things, but when it comes to something quick, simple and super fun ... Inkodye is it.
So i was moving fast here,not wanting to spend too much time on an apron that is going to get used while I'm painting ... in other words ... there will be paint everywhere on this apron in no time.
First off, I just painted the apron with a red and orange, blending the colors a little. The ink goes on sort of clear, so blending can be a little difficult. Next I place this stencil on top of the apron, the placed it in the window sill for just a few minutes.
You see, the ink is light sensitive, so when it's exposed to sunlight the color develops right before your eyes.
And here it is after I rinse, washed and dried it .. so fun!
Next I tried it on a file folder with this alphabet stencil ...
So fun ... to be used in a future project.
While I was on an apron kick, I decided to use masking tape to mask off strips ... The colors are sooo rich and yummy.
And here it is after I rinsed it and peeled off the tape. I love the way the tape worked ... possibilities ... endless!
Oh, No, I couldn't leave well enough alone ... no, no ... out came the black permanent marker for a little doodling.
Then I white permanent marker , just to pop some of the doodles.
I love the quick transformation of these very simple aprons. Possibilities ... unlimited.
What a great thing to do at a kids party ... they would think it's all so magical!
The weather has definitely taken a turn around here and in fact it is down right cold out, all the time it seems ... well, not Minnesota cold, but cold for California. And, when the wind picks up a bit, and I'm outside watching a baseball game ... a wool scarf is about the only thing that really warms me up to the core.
Here's what I did to make this quick scrappy scarf:
Ok so, as you can see these are pretty darn cute and so simple to make and makes really cute Christmas gifts! Needless to say, the cost was minimal as well ... let's see, I think each sweater was $1.90 and I still have lots of the brown sweater left to make a second one in a different color way ...
Enjoy and Stay Warm!
I LOVE rainy days.
Not only because all my plants are getting a nice drink of fresh water, but also because it gives me permission to stay home with my pups and do what I love to do ... KNIT!
When the weather changed to chilly and breezy a few days ago, and knowing that lots of baseball and rain were in my future, I took a little field trip to my local craft store and scooped up this yummy wool yarn.
Having no real plan or pattern in mind for this yarn I did remember that in my knitting group my friend Anna was trying out a new pattern that slightly resembled houndstooth and I have always loved houndstooth.
So I quick like knit up a swatch to check my gauge and to work out the pattern and soon realized that I loved the look of the high contrast and that it did look like knitted houndstooth but much more simple than reading a chart and tracking your rows ...LOVE IT!
Look how simple ...
Here's to rainy days, yummy yarn, fab houndstooth and sweet pups!
Another high school dance has come and gone and guess what ... the corsage and boutonniere still look as good as the night they were worn!
You may remember this post last year when I announced to my son Corry and his girlfriend Dylan that I was pretty much done purchasing flowers for the dances when I discovered that they take them off when they get to the dance anyways!
This is what this years handmade "flowers" looked like. Of course they would be soldered ... that seems to be what I'm into these days and if I say so myself ... I think they turned out pretty fab!
Here's what I did:
Photos of the lucky couple ... to come!
Look what I made!
Just playing with some thrift store finds. Sometimes I get an idea and I just have to act on it right now!
A week ago or so, my car was in the shop and so I was without a car. I had to go to the thrift store that day so my husband kindly dropped me off on his way to work ... I than walked home.
Well, little did I know that I would be walking home with bags of wool sweaters and suits!
Plant pouches ... so fun, super simple and look how cute they are on a chain linked fence!
Here's What You Do:
Hop on over to Lark Crafts and check out other felt projects, as they continue to celebrate the release of their latest book, Stash Happy Felt! Flip through the book and see a couple of my projects in there.
Oh and ... I had the good furtune of photographing that book as well!
Now go pot some plants in those felted old wool sweaters!
I am so in love with the first tin can caddy that I made ... way back when ... that I just had to make another.
When I first started out making this one, I thought I would use papers, old maps, new maps, ledger paper, and subway diagrams, but then reality set in. Paper and Mod Podge don't like wavy, bumping outer can surfaces and I ended up with a puckering mess. So I ditched that idea and went back to the original technique that I know works like a charm.
You gotta try this. And on a Lazy Susann, it dosen't get any better. Oh, and yes, again I tried putting the cans at different heights and while it looks super cute and all, I'm a practical gal and really like that space on the Lazy Susan under the cans.
Here's What I Did:
Here's the original Tin Can Caddy with an even better tutorial ... Enjoy!
I just can't seem to stop ... I'm in love with this darn shrink plastic. Check out some of my recent projects ... this sweet little 'Art Saves' brooch.
Or this oh, so cute necklace ...
And why not ... on a simple white card?
Or ... glue it on to a card and embellish it with pearls and wire.
I just love the simplicity!
Here's What I Did:
Way too cute if you ask me!!!
Hope you take some time to craft and play this week!
You'll have to hop on over to the Lark Crafts site and check out today's post on some super cute Mason Jar cozies I made for their month long felt party!
Here's another quick project a whipped up to help celebrate their felt month. A Mug Rug! What great gifts these make!
Here's what you do:
Gather a few skeins of leftover 100% wool and knitting needles to match. Cast on about 45 stitches and just start knitting. Change colors now and then to stripe your piece, but don't think too much. Cast off when the piece measure about 13 x 9 inches (This will vary depending on your yarn and how big you want your mug rug to be). Do not take the time to weave the ends in, but do trim them down to about 4 inches. After the piece is felted, the ends can be snipped off.
Toss the knitted panel into a lingerie bag and then into the washer. Set the washer on HOT water and add a little laundry detergent and start the washer.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and run and check the felting as soon as the time goes off.
Be careful to not over felt the piece. There's a point of no return, when the piece could get super stiff and bulky. If more felting is needed, toss the piece back in the washer and continue washing, again for just 10 minutes at a time. Wash the panel until it measure about 6 x 10 inches.
Rinse the panel with cool water to get rid of the soap, and stretch or block the piece to the size and shape you desire. Dry on towels ... for what will seem like forever ... maybe a few days! Or, to speed up this process ... roll the mug rug in a towel and squeeze the heck out of it.
Bind the outer edge with a raw-edge binding in a bright patterned fabric.
Embellish with a few scrappy hearts and words.
ENJOY your coffee and whatever else you want ...
There's plenty of room for a slice of apple or blueberry scone!
Just a little something I whipped up a few nights ago.
So cute don't you think? And let me tell you ... it's super easy to make and the fabric came from an old suit I bought at the second hand store. But not just any suit, it was a Pendleton wool suit in a black and white herringbone! Thankfully is wasn't my size, so I had no qualms about cutting up the skirt to get a nice chunk of fabric to play with.
Here's what I did: