Super duper crazy busy to be exact. Progress is going very slowly here on the gift making front, but I'm persevering. I know all of you are busy too so I won't waste time with an essay. I just have to publicly thank the lovely Sally of shim + sons:
Your tutorial on fusible stabilizer has saved Christmas + my sanity. A million thanks!
Not much going on here. Still working on the ornament ideas. I finally made that red velvet bird and despite my earlier reservations, I really like the look of it. The fabric is stretchy so I was sure it would come out all lumpy -- but it didn't!
I've also started a new business -- a tiny millinery. Hats for new elves are in the works.
And last but not least, I'm planning a small Mod Dots Shop update on December 1st with iron-ons and a few one-of-a-kind elves. If you'd like to be notified when the shop is updated, please click on the "join our mailing list" button below (or ue the one in the sidebar to the right).
Thanks and have a great week everyone!
Here's a wip that I'm considering for the holiday ornament swap. I think I'm going to try making this guy in a couple of different fabrics, as well as testing out some of my gazillion other ideas before I can narrow it down to that one final project. Oh... the pressure of making the perfect ornament. I want to express my own peculiar crafting style and make something that all my swapees can love too.
Funny, a couple of weeks ago I was suffering from a lack of inspiration and this week I'm drowning in ideas. I'm loving this week! Oh, and because organizing my studio was such a creative boost, I'm thinking that I need to go ahead and organize my fabrics by color. It seems like that works well for a lot of people. Anyone out there have an opinion about it?
Have a great weekend - happy holiday crafting everyone!
(*Title tanslation: finally a work without an in progress.)
This weekend I was bound and determined to finish something, anything, because I've been in a big rut lately. Up until now, it took all of the creative energy I could muster to scrounge together a few scattered wip posts. On Friday night, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself so I looked to my online friends for inspiration. I found what I was looking for at Amanda's blog, in this particular post.
As I looked at the pictures I knew immediately what was missing, what had stolen my creative mojo, and I had only myself to blame. I'd been pretending to organize my studio for a couple of months now, but I hadn't really made it mine. So I spent the entire day on Saturday reorganizing everything just the way I wanted it. I found a place for every scrap and I put all of my favorite things back up on my 3ft x 4ft memo board. I can't tell you what a difference it made! I know where everything is and now I want to be in my studio -- instead of averting my eyes every time I walk by.
Another thing I did to break out of my rut was make a list of projects I want to do. The first and easiest one on the list was a little business card holder and updated business cards for my shop. It turned out okay, but that's not what matters. What matters is that I finished a sewing project and I haven't done that in a long, long time. It feels good and it makes me want to do more, more, more!
Here's a photo of the holder with the wooden button closure, linen fabric lining and a buttery colored vinyl for the front. I will definitely use a different fabric for the front next time. There is zero room for error with this stuff -- you only get one chance and there's no ripping out a seam because the needle holes are eternally visible. Overall, I like the shape and it works for me.
This is a detail of the front. Again, there's a wonkiness to the fabric, but I'll know better next time what to do.
I've made a little progress on the wip from a couple of weeks ago. It's stuffed and looking a bit better (they always look wonky before they get their faces) but I find that I can't finish it. I want to change how I do the face so that this design is more than just a fabric change. I have an idea for the nose that is something other than the usual button, but I have to figure out how to execute it. If it all works out these puppies will be a part of this year's Christmas gift-making line-up -- so I'd better figure it out soon. Did you notice the pile of fabric that this little guy is sitting on? It's not just there to look pretty. They're going to be my mother's Christmas gift: a bedcover + curtains + framed fabric pieces for her bedroom. It's an ambitious project and one that is long overdue.
As a weekend treat I thought I'd tell you about a few of my favorite things:
1) The holiday ornament swap. You can still take part if you sign up by November 1st. I'm totally obsessed with trying to think of what to make for my ornament.
2) I adore Ruby.
3) Ann Wood's ships + birds + everything else she makes.
4) studio CRAFT: I even looked at plane tickets to see if there was some fantasy airline that would take me to Portland next weekend for a ridiculously low fare. It would be worth it just to meet the contributors. I hope it is a huge success -- but that they still have a few things leftover for me!
5) My dear friend Sarah Hazel is having a solo exhibit! I so wish that I could be there to celebrate with her.
Hope you're all having a great weekend!
If only making things were as easy as buying the fabric. When I first bought these fabrics I fully intended to use them to make some cute tote bags. Why is it that I'm always looking for fabic to use for tote bag making but I never seem to make any? I honestly think that I've built up these perfect totes in my head so that nothing I make could ever measure up. I do that a lot. I look at the work of these amazing crafters and artisits and I get inspired. I want to make things too! Then, a little time goes by and I start getting anxious about my ideas. Are they original enough? Are they interesting? Can I really make them? What if it doesn't work, then what will I do?
Blah, blah, blah. I worry and worry and do you know what? I usually like the end result of my projects. Heck, sometimes I even love them. So... why all the worrying? Hey, if I knew the answer to that question I'd have a wall full of tote bags!
Instead of making you read a long and very boring explanation about where I've been and what I've been up to, how about I give you a break and show you my most recent project? I created a little series of fabric cards made especially for Kristin of Go Goose Go and Sew Mama Sew to sell in her shop. I think that the larger ones will be available for ordering and the smaller ones are for gift certificates... is that right Kristin?
Making the cards also afforded me the opportunity to design a new logo just for the back of them. I constantly battle with myself not to over-decorate my packaging so I'm really pleased that I was able to create something simple this time. Here's a peek at the back of the cards:
I always enjoy working with fabric. If I had to pick one thing from the entire crafting process that I enjoy most, it would have to be choosing fabrics for a project. There's something so wonderful about rummaging through my fabric, pulling out every single piece that I think might work in a particular project and then narrowing them down to just the right combination. I love it! Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to keep my fabrics organized. I have baskets that fit into an Ikea shelving unit which hold most of my stash, but every time I ransack them for another project they seem to get smaller and hold less. How can that be? I have got to get this under control.
My sister asked me to help her with a little (literally) project. Her friends are adopting their second child from Etheopia and as a part of the nursery decorations they sent all of their friends a little wooden ginderbread man to decorate. My sister wanted a tiny t-shirt with this verse for the one she's doing. So I made a tiny design and printed it onto iron-on trasfer paper. The t-shirt base is felt and the transfer is on white cotton fabric, which I sewed right onto the felt. Once my sister gets it she'lll sew the front and back toegether or fabric glue it onto the little man and send it off to her friend.
I also made her a little gift tag to use. I really love the fabric that this came from so don't be surprised if you see some gfit tag sets in the shop soon!
This is my first attempt at making a bag. Not to be confused with my pre-first attempt when I made a big patchwork tote here. I guess I never count that one because I didn't create my own pattern. Well, now that I put my "logic" in writing it sounds silly - it makes no sense and I should count it! So let's start again shall we?
This is my second attempt at making a bag. I made it for my brother's wife Natalie (mother of Isaiah and my sometime assistant in the factory) because yesterday was her golden birthday. Happy Birthday Natalie! ♥
The figuring it out part
First I picked out the fabric and I made a pattern on tracing paper. I tried to make notes as to how the construction would progress before I cut anything out. Of course, by the time I got to construction I'd added another piece of fabric to the exterior and totally re-worked how I would assemble it. That meant cutting out a new lining because the old one was now too small. (I'm a great problem-solver but it's mainly because of self-induced errors.)
I knew that I wanted the shape of this bag to be smaller at the top so that it had slits on either side. That way it opens wider for easy access. I also knew that I wanted the sides to be rounded - they ended up much more angular than expected but I still like the overall look. The lining (seen here) is tan linen and the brown binding I used for the top trim was a last minute change that I'm really happy with. So is the button closure. At first I'd thought it would be fine with out it but at the last minute I was scrambling through my buttons and remembered I had this great big teal button. I knew it'd be perfect with another smaller one on top (seen here).
I plan on making another one – this time the pattern will be a little larger and more rounded at the bottom. Natalie’s bag was only 6 in. wide (top) x 8 in. wide (bottom) x 8 in. tall.
Teal fabric, brown trim and linen lining are all thrift store finds.
The fabric stripes that flank center left and right are from the new Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy fabric line. **Update: thanks to the folks who caught my error!**
Dark chocolate brown fabric (middle stripe) is from an old jacket of mine.
Striped ribbon is from Michael’s craft store.
Teal button is from a fabric store in Dallas, TX. (Sorry, I can’t remember the name.)
Brown button is from a garage sale score.