July 27, 2009

A Sad Disney bracelet to a Zippy Charm Pull

I picked up this little disney charm bracelet a few weeks ago. I discovered when I got it home that some of the links were loose and that's probably why it was sold (unless it just wasn't loved anymore). I originally thought that I'd fix the links, and a whole bunch of bead sets and make it an upgraded Disney charm bracelet. But, decided that some of the links just were not in good enough condition to support a new life. So, started seperating them ... and in the end, decided that just 12 link sets were good enough to work with ....

So, a zipper pull it is !!!

July 26, 2009

Yard Sale Saturday, July 25th

Visited three sales this morning ... one at a church, one a sale for an animal rescue group and one over in Cherry Creek. All three were outside my normal circuit and, amazingly enough, I didn't even go to my usual ... hummm ... now I'll be wondering what I missed.

  • A good size stack of fabrics -- a whole bag full for $5.
  • A straw Purse .. I wanted the handles
  • Celebrity martini Purse Set ... ***
  • A red Sequin Purse ... I'm cutting off the sequin and the metal rings
  • A set of gold toned metal dominos (Hope I'll be able to put holes in these)
  • One Tie
  • Assorted Jewelry pieces

*** About the Martini Purse Set ... these are new with the tags still intact. I looked over them and can't find anything wrong. The two smaller bags are intended to go into the big bag. I plan on giving the big bag to Grans and using the two smaller bags in my purse to help organize some small items. The primary reason I bought it was the price .... 10 cents. Yep, 10 cents. Now, what are folks thinking (about this at the house in Cherry Creek). I don't know what they actually paid (the tag says $23.), but selling it for 10 cents ....

Being sidetracked produced 4 new Zipper Pulls

The other night I was digging through a container and came across a bag of the brass keychain initials. From recall, I've been having them a good 5 or 6 years but have never used them ... other than giving an 'A' to Alex for his keys. (He must not have liked it as it disappeared rather quickly). The were looking a a bit tarnished and stressed, so dropped them into the tumber that contains the metal cleaning compound and ran overnight. The next morning, took them out and, wa-la, nice and shiny again.

Later in the morning, stopped by Grans on my way to the gym and found this Yellow Necklace for $3.00. Decided it was a good buy as I don't have that many yellow beads and, it seems, to be a color I don't see that often ... either in stores or at yardsales.

The brass letters and the beads were laying together on the workbench and decided it was time to do something with them. Soooo ... pulled out the findings container and a few of the bead inventory drawers and started putting together beadsets. And then a few more and then some more ... got a bit carried away ... but was listening to Tour de France and chatting with Beau and they simple multiplied.

D Beaded Keychain
Fish Zipper Pull
Initial F Zipper Pull
Crystal Teardrop Key Chain

Put together 3 Pulls using the Brass Letters and then pulled made an additional Pull using the prism from the candlestick I picked up yesterday.

Not alot going on in the Studio ... still going through stuff

July 23, 2009

My View 5 is Not So Good

I decided to try another of the View on the Simplicity 8393 Pattern .. a simple little girl/small hippie type bag. It has two pattern pieces and goes together quite simply.

Here's my attempt ... which I didn't bother to finish as it's apparent it has absolutely no future. I'd give it another try, but it's the view/pattern that has little future. The front and the back and completed and then sewn together which means the two would have to match up absolutely perfectly to look decent. I do like the look and I'm sure, at some time, I'll do something like this again ... but put together abit different.

So, Am I feeling down that so many of my bags are looking poorly. Well, absolutely not. It's the experience thing ... why some bags sell for $10 and some for $80 ... experience. I remember when I started making mosaics ... way back then ... I thought my original pieces were so wonderful. Then, a couple years later, when I'd come across them, I'd see how remedial they looked ... like they were made by a beginner. So thing with these pieces ... I'm learning and even if one is always better than the next, each one is a learning experience. And then, one days, when I have techniques under control, I'll be able to do what I have in mind ... mixed media design on a purse template.

One step at a time.

July 22, 2009

Simplicity 8393 View C, Again

Selected a simple purple pattern ... kinda girly, but not as much as yesterdays' pink, and a medium solid purple. Again, I added a lining as well as a lightweight fusible web to the sides and a 70wt Pellon to the bottom. The ties are ribbons with beads at the ends.

Much Better.

July 20, 2009

Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel & call it quits

Simplicity 8393: I came across this pattern, copyright 1978, at the Jewish Center sale and immediately scooped it up. Yep ... 1978 alright ... I probably had one similar to it.

I had committed to working on the coverlet today, but, that's was not destined to be ... I decided to start with View 3. Well, surprise be ... there is no lining on this pattern, and no bottom plastic reinforcement. Is it, just maybe, the 70's were just a simplier time .... no lining, no bras ... hummm.

Decided on a girlie girl type of thing and selected a pink floral and another solid pink for the lining (I know .. the bag has no lining). The pattern consists of two whole pieces ... upper panel and a round bottom. Sewed away ... things started going astray at the bottom. I got abit sidetracked (there was a Tom Petty piece playing on TIVO, which I love) and it didn't come out quite circular. Should have stopped, torn it out and started over, But No, Crawling Back to You came on TIVO and I continued on. Put together the lining and attached the two ... put on the laces and cut a bottom support .... and at a moment of inspiration, thought about that adhesive spray to hold the plastic support to the circular bottom and sprayed away. NOW, I know why I've never seen reference to that before.

Not only did the slight stray from circular make a huge difference in how it looks and sits, the spray makes everything stick together just like I didn't want it too. So, SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO THROW IN THE TOWEL AND CALL IT QUITS. I'll remove the top pink lace with the beads (it's worth the time) and the rest ... off to the garbage.

July 19, 2009

McCalls 4936, View F .... Again

Finished the 2nd purse from this pattern, View F. Learned a bit more. Specifically, I have to put more attention tot he fabric placement. This particular fabric has a couple great flowers which I've partially covered with the straps. Also, the pattern only calls for seam stitching, which just doesn't seem enough for a purse of this size and potential functionality. So, top seamed everything possible, and double seamed what wasn't. I know one of the things I hate in a purse is when the lining gets rips and the stuff disappears into the 'inbetween land'. So, all the lining is definitely overstitched.

Overall, this purse turned out well. Although I want to try a couple of the other variations, I'm going to move on to another pattern and return to this later ... need to purchase some handles.

Yard Sale Sunday @ the Jewish Community Center/ Metairie

Yep Sunday. I saw the ad in Thursday paper for a sale on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, 10am to 2pm. And, Beau agreed to go along. We headed out at 9:30, arrived at 10am and it was well in progress; alot of folks shopping. I immediately learned that everything was half off the marked price as this was actually the 2nd weekend. For me, it's a good thing that it was half off the marked price and the majority was priced well over what I'd be willing to pay ... and I'm always willing to pay a little higher for churches or charity groups.

Finds ...
... Some Jewelry odds & ends
-- A couple chain link belts
-- Several different fabric pieces (plus a bolt with about 4 yards by 54" nice upholestery fabric)
-- One of those pencil storage boxes I'm so fond of
-- Some huge decorative paper clips
-- A couple patterns, not shown

It was fun and a nice excusion for a Sunday morning.

July 18, 2009

Yard Sale Saturday, July 18th

Took off around 7am on the abbreviated yard sale circle.

  • A couple books on paint techniques
  • A Donald Duck Tie (Think I'll incorporate it onto a purse as part of a flap)
  • A Couple Leather Belts
  • A long piece of marvelous boa lace/feathers
  • An assortment of Jewelry pieces and pins
  • A Pair of Boys Jeans

There's another big sale tomorrow at a Jewish Chuch across the lake that we're talking about going to ...

McCalls 4936 ... A success

Finished View F of Mccalls 4936. Well, let's see.

Was about 3/4 finished and got a little exuberant with a seam ripper (yep, had to use a seam ripper), and managed to get a tiny tear in the outter fabric. I fixed the tear by applying fusible interacing between the tear and the lining and top off with a little fabric glue. So, it's hard to notice and will not fray, but I know its there.

This is one really big purse !!! It's more like a small suitcase. I could probably go away for an entire weekend with this guy. I used heavy stabilizer/interfacing on the sides and it stands up on its own ... making it more purse than tote. I am a flower on the Flower Loom and stitched it onto a pinback so that it can be removed, if desired.

Overall, I like this one. Strong, durable and large. I pulled out some blue fabrics and started cutting out the next one. Going to make it mostly the same with something else besides the flower ... that's the plan anyway.

The new bedroom furniture was delivered today and it looks great. It would look even greater, if I'd get the coverlet finished ! And, the house is quite a mess with everything out of the bedroom and not putting it all back. I've decided, for Christmas I want a self-cleaning house.

July 15, 2009

McCalls 4936 ... Let's try another Pattern

I was at Hancock Fabric the other day and they were having the McCalls 99cent pattern sale. So, I picked up another 5 patterns. So, okay, I have quite an assortment of pattern now. I'd think this should last me a lifetime. I've no doubt that after one makes a couple dozen that one would just start making their own designs ...

Last night I pulled McCalls 4936 out of my pattern drawer and cut it out while watching TV with Beau. Selected a floral fabric, a heavy weight stabilizer and got it all cut out before dinner ((( Made up a new recipe for Red Chili Stew, which was quite wonderful ))). Might have a little time to play with it tomorrow morning and maybe after dinner. That is, of course, if I have any energy left over after a day of painting the bedroom.

Coverlet ... In Progress

So far, so good.

I cut 15 squares from my scarves that are 20"x 20", and then cut 20 squares that are 20" x 11" from a couple of my fabrics. I attached lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of the scarves as they are alot more fragile than the cotton fabrics.

Today, I sewed all the squares together. For the most part, it went quite well; which surprised me. This is just my second project that involved blocks ... the first didn't go too well. I'm also liking the overall look. The furniture is coming on Saturday, we are doing the room details and painting tomorrow, so hope to finish this on Friday. Beau said he'd help me pin it all together.

July 14, 2009

Finished the 3 New Zipper Pulls

Didn't take long to finish the third Zipper Pull ... and ... tada ... here they are. I'll be listing them in my shop later this week.

Dewey Duck Keychain
Large Teardrop Zipper Pull
Parrot Zipper Pull

July 12, 2009

Why not make a couple Charm/Pulls

I thought about starting another purse but still have the coverlet materials out and I don't really want to over complicate the mess I have going on. So ... out came the beads for a couple hours ... why not make a couple Zipper Pulls ...

Every year we closely watch the Tour de France, which is in progress right now. So, I opened up the studio doors, turned the work bench towards the living room and watched TV with Beau while I played with my beads. Selected initial inspiration for three pieces, then selected beads and findings as I went along.

Didn't get all three finished. Alex and Mary came for dinner (we are empty nestors now) and I'd much rather spend time with them. So, will finish the third one tomorrow.

Coverlet .. Small complications

After some thought, realized that I was going to need to cut the scarves down to a uniform size ... i.e., create blocks. I decided on 20"x20" as this was a nice even figure to give me 100" square. Cutting down the scarves results in quite abit of fabric loss and the realization that I'm not going to have enough scarves in the selected color/pattern scheme. (Also, discussed with my sister who suggested that if I wanted the coverlet to be cool (for summer use), that I shouldn't put in the batting).

So, I set this aside for today. We are talking about driving over to Slidell on Tuesday to to to Ruby Tuesdays (really like their salad bar) and Anna's for new linens for the bed. And, while we are there, I'll go into the fabric store and see if I can find a nice piece of corresponding fabric .. something I can cut into 10" strips to place beween the 20" rows.

July 10, 2009

Time to start on the new Coverlet ...

I pulled out the two containers of my collected scarves, dumped them out and started sorting by color combinations. It didn't take me long to realize that I was leaning heavily towards the browns. There is one scarf that I'm sure will be incredible right in the center, so continued to select contrasts to go with it. Then, the least fun part, fold all the ones not selected and put bac away.

All the scarves have already been washed ... I do this before I put them to inventory.

Last week I'd pick up some a very lightweight fusible interfacing. The plan is to iron on to the back of each scarf to make it just a bit more sturdy. I'm not sure this step is necessary, but it's what I decided to do.

Set up a big thick towel on my drafting table and started the process of ironing and attaching the fusible interfacing to the back of each scarf.

July 09, 2009

McCalls 5599 - View D ...

I started another purse two days ago, which I finished this afternoon. I didn't have any major issues; the reason it took so long is I just keep getting sidetracked. The computer is a major offender. I stop to look something up, and then, realize an hour has gone by. Plus, I'm still working abit at the retooling. And then, I woke up this morning thinking about those bracelets made from vinyl records and was then in the kitchen turning two old Grease LP's into bowls (which I'll give to Grans, as I have absolutely no use for them). We also decided on the paint colors for the bedroom, so went to Walmart (one of my least favorite places) and bought paint, and then, had to go to Spensers to get more tomatoe plants for the summer garden, and gosh, since we are there, might as well go into All Saints Thrift Store and see if they have sewing notions (which they did), and then, had to go by Sew This to get the matting for the new bed cover and then .... Well, you get the idea ... very easily sidetracked.

But, I did get the View D for McCalls 5599 finished this afternoon. It came out fairly well and I'm happy with it. I made one of those loop flowers and put on here, just for fun. I think it might need something else on the bottom red flap and I'll go through my 'found items' drawer tomorrow and see if anything jumps out at me. Then, I'll photo and get it ready to list in my shop.

July 06, 2009

Happy Birthday My Dear Friend

We were both wrong
We both lost,
Years of Laughter
of Sharing,
of Comfort,
Each Other

I speak to you Daily
Both High and Low
I Miss You
I Love You

Retooling Continues ... A Place for the Fabrics

This cabinet was loaded down with stained glass, paper, collage items, beads, glue and such ... In general, a large and inefficient hodge podge. I emptied it all out, shelf by shelf, deciding each step what it was, if it should be kept, and where it should be kept ... or how disposed. Some to recycle, some to Grans, some to Ebay.

Then, once empty, I carefully sorted and stacked all those fabrics I've been gathering over the last few months. This should make sewing awhole lot easier ... versus searching through a bunch of different boxes looking for what belongs together.

I'm feeling quite accomplished.

July 05, 2009

The Owl, our Frequent Visitor

There are a pair of owls who have been visiting our yard for the last couple of years. There is a ditch (otherwise called bayou here in SE Louisiana), which is apparently great hunting for the owls. We always know when they are in the yard as the other birds (we have a variety of feeders so there is usually alot of activity out there), all start squaking and chirping and flying into him .. quite a loud racket all geared at trying to get it to go away ...

This is one beautiful owl ... just wish our camera had a better telepfoto lense ... this one is about 30 feet from the house on the back fence.

July 04, 2009

Lillian Doesn't Mind Wearing Grandpa's Hat

Just the Ones I make.

Oh ya ... remember those grocery bags I was working on last year ... here's a couple in use. They are like a weekly conversation at the grocery. Everyone wants one ... (Although not really ... or, they want one, just don't want to pay for one).

New Bedroom Furniture

We've been talking for years (literally) about buying new bedroom furniture. The big issue has been whether we needed one dresser, or two. I was in favor of one (only use 3 drawers now) and Beau felt we needed two (he's big drawer man .... that T-Shirt collection). We've been bantering it around for at least 10 years. It came back up recently and for lack of something better to do on Thursday, we visited a couple furniture stores, adding 2 more on Friday. And, arrived at a decision .... tada ... new furniture. Then, the biggest decision ... when to get it delivered.

Let's see ... can't go moving new and fresh furniture into a stale boring room. Have to ...
  • Decide on new wall color .. hopefully something compatable with the color we last painted the ceiling.
  • Paint the room
  • Repaint all the woodwork (since it's been needing paint since we moved in 10 years ago)
  • Change colors of the door.
  • Make that scarf quilt for a new bedspread I've been thinking about for the last year ...
I'm feeling tired already. So, we told them we'd call in 2-3 weeks and discuss delivery ... No since rushing into it.

July 03, 2009

Straight out of the 70's ... A Flower Loom

A long time ago I found this Flower Loom ... brand new, never been opened. Obviously at a yard sale and I can't imagine I would have paid much. And then, I stuck it away and never thought of it again ... (just like, I'm sure, hundreds of things stuffed here and there around this house). Well, I opened up a container looking for something else, and there it was. And, since I have a huge surplus of yarn hanging around, and since I'm playing at making purses that might benefit from a flower, why not open this vintage relic and give it a try.

Selected a couple skeins of yarn, a pair of sissors and climbed into the car. I always like to take something to do in the car when I'm a captive passenger for greater than 30 minutes. It took me about 20 minutes to crank out the first one ... the directions were written just abit vague, but the results were interesting enough to give it a try again the next day ....

Hummm ... the possible variations are limitless, they are fun and take very little time.

July 02, 2009

I Did Love My Stained Glass

I'm retooling my studio space. Moving out all the stuff that I no longer spend time with and bringing the current passions to center stage. Or .. out with paper and glass and in with beads and the fabrics.

On the bottom shelf of one of the cabinets was this stained glass. Oh, how I loved the stained glass. Designing it in the mosiacs, shopping and bringing home all those glorious colors, cutting it into the little pieces ... And, this is what's left. I don't plan on anymore mosaic work, but at first said I was going to keep these pieces (there's probably about 80 full sheets along with a good number of partials) for use in a periodic window (although I don't need anymore of these, I still like to give them as gifts when i come across the perfect base), but 3 years have gone by and I've still not used it. So, I thought that I should cut it up and sell it to mosaic artists. But, the truth is, I like having it. Just having it, even if there is no specific purpose.

So, I pulled it out of the cabinets and stored into into a couple boxes, which Beau helped me relocate to a safe space out in the garage. I like knowing its there .... Just in case.

July 01, 2009

McCalls 5599 -- Purses ... In Training

So, I was at Hobby Lobby and they (probably McCalls) were having a sale ... all of their patterns were 99 cents each. Now, that's too good a price to pass up. So, I went through their book and picked out 8 different patterns to practice with.

I decided I was going to stick with one pattern until I was comfortable with the techniques and potential, before moving on ...

So, over the course of the week ...

1st is the Blue Polka Dot Piece. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this one a 3. I think it's sound ... certainly not about to fall apart, but Talk about UGLY ... this is it. It will be destined to Grans on the next trip. (Who knows, maybe someone will like it).

2nd was the Pink Purse. It came out okay .... I'll give it a 5. On this piece, I cut out some fabric strips and fused them to be applique. Well, they still frayed abit when sewed on. Think, here I learned that even thin applique might need a bit of an underseam. This also has a flat bottom. I don't like the way the look. I gave it some thought as to whether I didn't like the look of my flat bottoms (Like I've ever had a flat bottom), or flat bottoms themselves. In the end, decided I just didn't like flat bottoms and I might not make anymore purses with them.

3rd - I used the same variation -- Number C -- but I altered the pattern to remove the flat bottom and squared the corners to give the purse a bit of room. For the outer fabric, I used a big ole scarf from my inventory container and a bright orange fabric for the inside I like this one.

I'll be moving onto Variation A of this same pattern next.