Sunday, April 29, 2007
So after reading EllynAnne's Apron Book I'm a little obsessed with aprons. It used to be bags but I think I've moved on to aprons. Both are an accessory and both are a great outlet for my love of fun fabrics with really cool prints. Anyway... the book pictures a great apron made out of terry cloth material. Great for bathing a baby and allowing you to stay dry. I thought this was brilliant. I've seen a version of this on Martha Stewarts website. So I decided to make one as a gift for someone. I just used a towel I found at Target. It's a basic bib apron. I just used a full size bath towel and a wash cloth for a pocket. There was not a lot of cutting involved. I only cut off about 7inches off the bottom and the area around the arms and that was it. No hemming required because I used seam binding tape. I added the ribbon and buttons as a decorative detail. I also used 2 rectangular rings (close up shown) instead of tying the apron around your neck. I prefer not having to tie an apron around my neck. This has some weight to it and it's a lot easier to adjust at your shoulder than behind your head. Not only is this good for bathing a baby, but if you're like me I get soaked trying to bathe my dogs and this would work great.
Last week EllynAnne Geisels Apron Chronicles touring show opened up here at Hallmark. This traveling show conincides with the fun apron workshop I worked on a couple of weeks ago. The show, just like her books, displays aprons from all over and the stories behind them. We all wore our aprons, which are on display else where in the company, and had a lot of fun meeting and talking with EllynAnne. For an added treat the group of us involved with the workshop had lunch with her the next day, where she presented to us signed copies of her book Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections. It's always amazing to me to meet successful people explain their creative process and the stress of not having enough hours in the day to get everything done. It seems that consumes me as well. I guess us creative multi taskers all feel that way. It's just nice knowing I'm not the only crazy one.
Friday, April 27, 2007
I finally found a lamp for the corner of my studio. I was hoping to find a cool funky thrift lamp but had no luck. I went to Hobby Lobby to get some thread and found this. It's fun, it's pink and it was only $5.00!! Thanks Hobby Lobby! Apparently it's been on the shelf since 2005. I like to think it's been sitting there waiting for me. I didn't even know it was 5 bucks till I got to the register, I thought it was 20. It was originally 40. I would have never spent 40 for it. I love a bargain like that.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
So I finished this guy this past weekend. This was the small commission I said I had to work on. Some may recognize him from my website. The tongue is new, I decided something was missing. He is part of a series that I started and may go back to, that have to do with devils of folklore and in mythology. This guy is Pretas. In Hindu mythology, the Pretas are the spirits of dead people that inhabit the realm of tortured spirits. These are the spirits that had committed wrongful deeds in a former life and have been committed to the circle of perepetual hunger. Some are said to animate dead bodies and inhabit graveyards. In total, there are 36 classes of Pretas, some only appearing as animated skeleton.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I know the bird motif is everywhere right now and it's probably overdone but I just can't help but love them. Anytime I'm out shopping and I see something with a little bird on it I stop and contimplate do I really need this. Most of the time I don't buy but it makes me happy seeing them. I have bought quite a bit of bird themed items for my garden. You just can't pass up a pudgy little bird yard ornament. You should check out Ann Woods website. I love her little plush birds and want them all. How cute are the bride and groom birdies!
Two quicky projects I did this week were both bird themed and I didn't even realize it till I saw them sitting side by side on my counter. I was tired of my boring square pin cushion so I decided to make this bird. My first idea was a turtle but changed my mind. Maybe I'll do that some other time.
I also have been looking everywhere for a little bird charm for a necklace but have found nothing. So I made one. I was inspired by Adorn Magazines recent issue. There is a tutorial on making a necklace out of shrinky dinks. Duh, why didn't I think of that. The pieces they made for their necklace are much larger but still cute. I wanted something rather small. I'm pretty happy with the outcome. One good tip the magazine gave was to blow up whatever image you want as your shrinky dink to 180%. So if you want something that is 1"x1" as you final size blow that up 180% FYI you can send shrinky dink paper through your bubble jet printer. That's what I did. It works pretty well, it just takes a while for the ink to dry.
Maybe I'll try a little bird out of sculpy next.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I thought I'd share this book I just found. It's the Singer Sewing Book by Mary Picken from 1949 with 244 pages. It's a great tutorial on how to sew. It's hast great diagrams and some great illustrations, some of which I posted here. I found it a pretty funny read as well. The book wasn't in great condition. The spine was almost completely off and the binding was all loose. So I decided to take the whole book apart and put in plastic sleeves in a binder (a BIG binder). Now I could have rebound it or had someone else rebind it but I thought this way I could at least preserve the pages and use the book fully open on my tabletop. Now the pages are completely protected and I am able to flip through it without being concerned about tearing a page. Plus I only paid a couple of bucks for it.
How great is that last pic. Can you imagine living in a room that color wall to wall? Wow! There are also quite a few color photos of interiors. There is a section on sewing curtains and recovering furniture.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I couldn't wait to make this dress. I especially loved the illustration on the envelope. Well I finally finished this dress that I started about a month ago and then got frustrated with it after it didn't fit so it sat around for a while. After some great advice I fixed my problem and now it fits. It originally was way to small and I had about a 1 1/2 inch gap in front where the ties meet. So I had to let out some darts and the back seam. Also the pattern called for 3 snaps in front to keep it closed. There was no way that was going to work. The minute I'd sit down it would have popped open. So I extended the bias tape, that wraps around the arms, so that I could great ties. This should hold properly. So if anyone out there is interested in making this dress I'd suggested the ties in front. It's kind of a cute detail anyway. I know the photo isn't the greatest but there are tiny white polka dots that you just can't see.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
For those who wanted to see it. Here's my new ride! It's a cross between a van, station wagon, and hatchback. The photo makes it look more vanish, but put it next to a van and it's considerably smaller.I've never had power locks or power windows or a moon roof. Our other car is basically one step up from the Flinstones car. Yaba-Daba-Do!!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
If you are in KC you should check out Urban Mining Housewares. They are only open the first weekend of every month. I went looking for a funky lamp for my studio but didn't find anything. I did find some handkerchiefs that I'm going to use as a valance for a small window and this cute little skunk who now joins my ceramic elephant I found in St. Louis (were I'm originally from) at The Future Antiques. This place is really cool. It specializes in all things 40's, 50's & 60's and it is jam packed floor to ceiling. They don't have a website but you can find them at 3201 South Grand Blvd. St.Louis 63118.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Well I finally got her done. I've been meaning to post a pic for a couple of days now but it's been so cold and cloudy here that I couldn't get a good pic. I prefer getting a shot outside because the light is so much better. I'm debating on who I want to do next, JoJo the Circus boy or the Tatooed Man. I have a commission I have to do a first so it may be a little while before I get to it, but that gives me time to work it out in my head. HAPPY MONDAY!
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Some people have asked about the space I work in and I've explained that up until a month ago I was working out of a spare bedroom in our house. We finished our basement off and now have studio space to work in. We started back in August and finished around the end of February. It's everything we wanted and more!! We actually had our house built about a year and a half ago and decided on this layout because of the basement knowing that in the future we'd finish it off. Well we couldn't wait. We did wait a year though, that's what's recommended for new basements. We worked non stop for 7 months. We now have 2 studios, one movie room a sink area w/ small tv and beanbags, and left a part unfinished for storage. Here are pictures of my space and the yummy orange wall my husband was nervous about painting but loves now. It just makes me happy! Actually the whole space makes me happy and we spend more time in the basement than in any other part of the house.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Some of you know that to make real money I work for Hallmark Cards as an illustrator. Mainly Shoebox cards. Sometimes we get what is called "creative renewal time". It's a chance to take a break from the same old same old and get energized again. This past week was one of those weeks. There is an apron workshop going on at work that I participated in. We got to print our own fabrics and do some dying. None of which I've done before. So I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I chose a reproduction 1950's pattern and thought the tea pattern was appropriate. I also had some time to do another small apron with a sewing theme. Great for holding scissors and other odds and ends while you're working.
I think the little teapots and teacups would make a great plush!