And for my next trick…..

So, needless to say, I was pretty excited about this new idea of sewing strips of paper into an art journal!!  The task at hand now was to figure out the best and most efficient way to do it. (Click on the pics to enlarge them)

Since trying to sew it directly into the book was so clunky, I decided that I would try sewing it on a blank piece of paper that was trimmed to a similar size as the pages in my journal, which is a Canson XL mixed media notebook.  I love this book because the pages are a 60 lb paper and there’s no need to glue 2 or more together to get a strong page.

This is the next page that I put together. Kinda funky, eh?  I couldn’t decide if I like the randomness or not.

I tried gluing each piece down with ModPodge, but when I started sewing, it was gumming up my needle. I found that if I placed the paper pieces on the sheet of paper, then carefully flipped each piece over, glued it with glue dots, and then turned it carefully back and glued it down, the paper was a lot easier to sew together.   I also figured out that changing your stitch length to just about as long as possible would preclude the needle shredding the paper underneath or the papers on the top of your backing sheet.

Once the page is complete, all that’s left to do is glue it into the journal.  I used a thin layer of Yes! Paste to glue it in.  Not everybody likes this paste, It is extremely sticky and takes some getting used to when you are applying it.  It claims to never wrinkle paper and I haven’t had a wrinkle since I started using it.  All that said, it’s kind of on the pricey side.

 

Fourth page — and still trying to decide if the randomness appealed to me. I guess it’s not horrible. (Jeopardy theme playing in the background)

More later!

Yup, new obsession…..

The last few months, I haven’t been terribly interested in the crafties that I always enjoyed doing — sewing, crocheting, knitting.  Possibly I’m burned out on the textile arts. At any rate, I stumbled across a couple of websites and found something that really caught my eye — art journaling or more accurately in my case, junk journaling.  I started playing with this back in March, bought a composition notebook, glued sheets together to make strong substrates, gessoed the daylights out the sheets, bought paint and paper and glue and tape and stencils……..  Have I ever said that when I make up my mind to do something, I’m in it up to my neck?

I’ve played with different techniques, studied other journals on the web (note to self and anybody else that’s just starting, don’t beat yourself up because your pages don’t look like theirs, they’ve had more practice) tried and tossed different things looking for the one thing that really got me burning.  Point of fact, I am not a painter by any stretch.  I also don’t really have any interest in perfecting my hand writing to write beautiful sentiments on my pages.  I hear/read a lot about “going outside the box” and “stretching your creativity”.  Both are wonderful ideas, but first I think that you have to find what it is that you really love doing IN the box, THEN go outside the box.

I was actually going to toss the whole thing onto eBay and sell all of my supplies except for my collage stuff, because I really enjoy ripping and cutting paper and then glueing it down.  It’s difficult to teach yourself something like this from scratch and I have nobody in my area that has art journaling workshops or such.  It was a bit disheartening, and I don’t give up easily.  Then, I looked at my sewing machine — looked at the strips of scrapbook and found papers that I had been playing with and BINGO!!!  I started ripping and gluing and sewing, having finally found my burn!!!

And I have to say, there aren’t a whole lot of websites out there where the artists are sewing paper strips into their journals.I thought I’d toss this out and hopefully, if somebody else is wondering about the same kind of thing, they will find this.

This was the first one that I did.  Not knowing any better, I tried sewing the strips of paper right onto the notebook page.  Extremely hard to get every edge down, because of pressure foot constraints.  Also, the paper tends to slide and buckle.    The papers that I used on this page were bits and pieces that I had on hand, and the likeness of Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” was from a pamphlet that I found at work for a new line of eyeglass frames called Hemingway. The map papers appealed to me and  I played with zig zag and straight stitches, just turning it every which way.

And this was my second page.  Still trying to sew directly to the page in the book, pages still buckling and sliding.  I used another page from the Hemingway pamphlet, more found papers, a bit of fabric and a slice of paper towel that had I had wiped my paintbrush on.  Still trying to find my way on this one, but OMG it was feeling so GOOD!!!!

I have more pages that I can’t wait to post, but I do go on and on, so I’ll stop now and get more on soon. Also, please excuse the photos, new camera and still not used to it!!!

Twirly Skirt Completed for GrandDolly

I tell ya, GrandDolly #1 slays me!!!

Two weekends ago, she was at my house and playing dress up with some old clothes in her room.  She had a slip on, a rather narrow one, and was trying her darnedest to twirl it.  She asked, “Mem, how come it won’t twirl?” I told her it was because it wasn’t a twirly skirt, that she had to have the right kind of skirt to twirl it.

“Oh Mem, could you PLEASE make me a twirly skirt?” with those big blue eyes. Gotta say, the girl knows how to work it!!

So how could I say no”

We got on the computer and I had saved this website awhile ago that had a tutorial for a twirly skirt  — I showed it to her and she said she “wanted one the same color as the one in the computer”.

Well, getting the exact fabric would have taken more time than I had to give, so I’m hoping that she doesn’t remember the exact skirt. This is how it turned out.

Her fourth birthday is Monday and although we already had a party for her last weekend, I’m going to wrap this up so she can open it on her real birthday. Is that cute or what? My only complaint is that the waistband came out a bit “bunched” — GrandDolly’s waist is only 18″ even when she’s had a big meal!! I think the pattern was made for a child a bit larger than my little string bean!!

The tutorial for this skirt is very easy to follow — lots of picture and detailed explanations.  Check out House on Hill Road when you have a few minutes — lots and lots of great things there!!

Another Finished Object

I made these pillows for my daughter’s mother-in-law. She and her boyfriend just bought a new condo and had a sofa reupholstered in this fabric and wanted a couple of throw pillows. The problem: the pattern repeat was 23″ and the pillow forms were 14″ square. Plus the fabric that she gave me was a leftover in an “L” shape, so one pillow’s fabric is horizontal and the other is vertical. I’m hopeful that she doesn’t figure this out and that she just likes them the way they are.

I am so on a roll completing all of my UFO’s!!!

The flanged pillow pattern that I found was very easy to follow — you can find it here.

Catching up — Part I

So, yeah, I haven’t added anything to this blog since December.  But don’t think that I’ve been laying on the sofa eating bonbons.  I have been knitting and sewing and crocheting up a storm!

This is my sewing/computer room — my very CLEAN and organized sewing/computer room. Clean as the proverbial whistle. Well, except for the cat in my yarn box under the table. Can you see the white paw?

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I was going to post the before pictures but it was just too depressing to document. Suffice it to say that it was just impossible to find anything that I wanted. Not necessarily a fun thing to do, but it had to be done.

In my case at least, having a room so clean makes me just itch to do something!!19931

Shortly after the holidays, I received an email from Connecting Threads advertising Mama’s Cottons 2 Sampler fabrics. I tell ya, this fabric positively shrieked at me to buy it!!Yummy, yummy!  There haven’t been many times when I ran to get my credit card to buy something, but this was one of them. I didn’t even know what I would make with it, but figured I would hear another shriek when I found it.

As luck would have it, I stumbled across this .pdf file for burp cloths at the Michael Miller Fabrics website.

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I also found a darling bib pattern on Etsy at jcasa and this was the result of that chance encounter. This is one really great bib pattern — doesn’t take long and cute as a bug’s ear. I’ve started trying freemotion quilting on them (which always scared the daylights out of me) and it’s working pretty well – of course it’s a small area to quilt, but it’s good practice.

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This is how the bibs looked after washing and drying.  Just love that old quilty look!!

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And this is just the first round.  The burp cloths and bibs are for my niece who is having another boy in April but there are plenty of pink, green and lavendar fabrics still left from the fat quarter package.  Darling Daughter is having another GrandDolly or a GrandWeeLad in September so perhaps I’ll be using those pink ones.  Or maybe not.  We won’t know until next month.

More later.

And yet more fabric…..

I am on a buying binge — sheets, pillowcases, doilies, linens of any kind — can’t seem to get enough of them. I haven’t actually done anything with them yet, other than print out the tutorial of what it is that I want to make and then make sure that they stay together. I’m guessing that I am subconsciously stocking up with things to do this winter.  Check out this latest bunch. All nice and freshly washed and dried on the clothesline. The pink one at 12:00 is going to be pillowcases for Darling Daughter’s bed, the orange yellow and green at 2:00 is undecided at this moment, but I really liked it and bought it anyway.  The maroon in the middle will be the contrasting back for some sofa pillows for DD, the blue and green plaids will be toppers for my living room end stands or pillow coverings for my sofa.  Not sure about the striped — might be bibs for a friend of DD’s, might be chicken stuffies.  (The blue and white is my bed sheet. )

Pencil pocket for notebooks and tutorial!!!

I carry notebooks with me all the time — practically every time I think of something even remotely important, I want/need/MUST write it down — so even though I always have a notebook at hand, having a pen or pencil is a horse of a different color.

And in a seemingly unrelated vein, I also have turned into quite the “internet tutorials collector”, if you will.  I spend WAYYYY too much time on the internet, surfing for the next great thing that I want to make.

So.

This is what I found a couple nights ago on WhipUp and of course it was an “aha!!” moment. The link for the tutorial is here. Who couldn’t use one of these themselves, not to mention gifts? A nice new Moleskine with a nice new pencil pocket to go with it. I wouldn’t mind opening one of those, if sewing wasn’t my thing. BTW, my own Moleskine is next in line for one of these little cuties, but for now, here is a pic of one of my notebooks and my “I would literally just lay down and die if I lost it” calendar, both sporting their brand new pencil pockets.