Thursday, July 31, 2008

Amy Butler Gift Wrap

Available here. Need I say more?

Crochet Grocery Bags

In the quest to "go green", we're all doing our best to use cloth, fabric or otherwise reusable grocery bags... now I don't know about you, but I'm constantly finding myself stopping into a store "just for one or two things" and finding myself without a bag. I could buy yet ANOTHER boxy green bag for $.99... but wouldn't it be much better if I had a mesh bag ready and waiting in the bottom of my purse?

Lucky for us, CraftSylish has the tutorial for us!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Emrboidered Baby Quilt

On my quest for embroidery projects I love, I found this fantastic baby quilt made by Craftster's Etheren, based on a design she found in the book Doodle Stitching. A virtual step-by-step can be found in her flickr stream.


oh fransson has created a new pattern, "Wristlets Three Ways", that will debut August 1 in her etsy shop and will feature step-by-step photo instructions for three styles of zip wristlets, each in two sizes. To celebrate, she's been posting every day this week (Saturday through Friday) about a different wristlet that she made using the pattern.

Excellent idea, because the wristlets are irresistable and I'm currently counting down the days until I can make my very own.

Check out some of her creations... they're all available for sale in her shop too!

Firefly Booties (now with link to tutorial!)

I blogged about this adorable pair awhile back- but that was before I found this tutorial on how to make them for your very own!!!

Handmade denim booties with yellow lining with 3mm yellow LED's powered by a (removable) Lithium cell. A must for fashionable babies!

Found originally on jcferreiradasilva's flickr photostream.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Garden Party... with Mushrooms & Snails!

Today the fabric fairy left TONS of goodies in my mailbox... I'm so giddy! Do you notice the summer/nature theme going on here?

First, 10 pieces of Garden Party, by Anna Maria Horner. Whenever I find a new fabric line I think I might love, I buy a bunch of fat quarters (or 5x5 charms) so I can get a real feel for the colors and feel of the material... and Garden Party does not disappoint! The hues are brighter then life and just so fun... I've got about a million patchwork bags dancing through my head right now- I think that these swatches will work together in just about any combination!

And then we have Alexander Henry's Mushroom City in three different colors... scrawled and doodled across the fabric... I'm loving these little fungi!

And something just for fun that caught my eye... Creatures & Critters by Amy Schimler. Wouldn't these little snails make an adorable sundress for a little girl?

And a quick shout-out to a stupendous etsy fabric shop- FabricWorm, who not only had the fabric I ordered on Friday delivered on Monday (without rush shipping!) but also noticed that I ordered (2) fat quarters of the same fabric, and was thoughtful enough to leave it as 1/2 yard because she wanted to be "Better safe then sorry!". Its a relatively new shop- but they have TONS (including the new Amy Butler line, which she offers 6x6 swatches of for $1, so you can check it out without breaking the bank), so consider this my official recommendation!

One thing leads to another...

Yesterday I featured Crafty Intentions and her amazing technicolor dream-skirt... and while digging around her flickr stream, I found that she is one of the most organized crafters I have ever seen in my life. I bow down before her and her fastidious craft room... if I could stay this organized, I estimate I would save roughly three hours a day of searching, finding and losing things again and again.

The only reason I'm not currently searching frantically online for a place to order these adorable little jars in bulk is that I'm afraid it would give me yet another excuse to collect even more things then I do now!! The last thing I need are more reasons to magpie. (yes, I just used that word as a verb, that's how agitated I am right now!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Speaking of color...

Check out this amazing skirt... posted by Crafty Intentions over on Craftster.

This skirt took her at least 5 months to make. There are 10 tiers of 4x4 inch square patches. Each successive tier is 1.5 times as long as the next one. The bottom one she ruffled a little bit more than the previous tiers and has a total of 520 squares.

I think its just stunning... and I want one so badly I can taste it.

You can check out some more of her projects (including an awesome bathroom wall mural) on her flickr page.

A splash of color...

A rainy, dreary day here has left me housebound and looking for some sources of color to fight off the gray coming in through my windows...

My first embroidery project, a dragonfly, recently filled in with some bright and cheery hues. I'm quite pleased with my work- a few issues here and there, both with the stitches and with my freehanded design... but I think it has character, and the process taught me a great deal...

A summer squash, tomato & green pepper plucked from my garden this morning during a lull in the rain. I fear the tomato (the first to turn red) was picked too early- it came off in my hand accidentally as I was giving it a once-over. The green pepper may also have had some growing to do- but its my first foray into gardening, and I'm erring on the side of caution, worried about bugs, rot and disease coming in overnight and denying me a proper harvest. Either way- this threesome is brightening up my kitchen counter and offering a taste of sunshine, even if we can't bask in it at the moment.

And about two yards of a "Flutterby" fabric by Tula Pink. I love these little bumblebees... and I think I'll make them into a skirt perhaps?

Friday, July 25, 2008

August Fields

These are not my photos. I feel the need to stress that fact only because mine are on their way, and I'm eagerly awaiting them. Very, very eagerly... the second I saw that Miss Amy Butler had officially released her new fabric line, August Fields, I found myself an etsy store and put in my order post haste. However, since they're not here yet and I still want to gush about the gorgeousness of these patterns and colors... I'm posting some pics of what my studio cutting table WILL look like in just a few days when mine arrives!

I do find it a little odd that Amy's own website doesn't even have them listed or pictured yet. If I had the mind, creativity & resources to come up with something like this, trust me, I'd be screaming about it all over the place months before they were even available!

She does have her new Solids line up on her site, some shades that I expect will come in useful... but that don't really inspire the same sort of excitment that August Fields does. Not in me anyway... of course, your mileage may vary.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Embroidered Life

When I find a new craft style, topic, project or pattern, I tend to obsess over it for a little while- trying to take in as much information as I can about it. At the moment, that obsession is embroidery- Who does it? How do they do it? What different styles exist? What do people DO with the fabric they've embroidered? Where do they find inspiration?

On my quest to answer these (and many other) questions- I found some of the most gorgeous work I've ever seen, in any medium...
I think this intricate, delicate stitchery is a testament to what patience, skill and a dedication to perfection and beauty can do.

This piece was found on the blog of Elsa Mora, the embroidery was a gift from her sister in law... a woman I can tell has exquisite taste.

It makes my little dragonfly look even more crooked doesn't it? Oh well, I still love him!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ruminations on Embroidery

Its a little crooked, and a little lopsided, and the stitches aren't perfect- but I'm actually really enjoying myself. I love the fact that its coming together so slowly- that every single teeny-tiny stitch I make changes the direction of the entire design. I could draw this with a pencil in seconds- but the embroidery is taking me hours and there is just something so calming in that.

Last night I came home from work in one of those moods- you know what I'm talking about, the "everything in the entire world is annoying me right now so don't even think about breathing in my direction or I might explode" sort of moods. And I got out my little hoop, and my little needle, and started stitching my little dragonfly... and the bad mood just sort of dissipated. Putting so much concentration and focus onto each stitch allowed me to just let everything else go floating away.

So yeah, I'm really liking this embroidery thing. Isn't crafting the best sort of mental therapy?

Things to come...

Just got this little tidbit off jcaroline, some sneak peaks of the new Paula Prass fabric line for Michael Miller... don't get too excited- the designs aren't set in stone, but if this gives us any indication of what is to come... I know I'm going to be loving it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bubblegum Tote

An excellent find on Craftster, an adorable (and brilliant!) bubblegum button tote bag by crabappledesign.

I love seeing someone not only come up with a truly unique idea, but also execute it so well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Park Slope

Is there anything in the world better then coming home from a long day at work to find your mailbox full of beautiful fabric? All right, maybe it would be better to skip the work altogether- but until I'm able to support myself through crafting, this will have to do!

"Erin McMorris's new Park Slope collection is a springtime walk in a modern garden." And I'm digging it pretty hardcore right now. The follow-up to her collection from last year, Urban Garden, definitely does not disappoint. I know I'm going to have some real trouble cutting into these guys!

Quilting, from start to finish

I'm really loving how much closer blogging has brought me to the online craft community. I feel like I've seen more amazing blogs, projects & talented people this month then I have in the past few years of my life. I spend much of my day in awe.
Speaking of which, I found this wonderful blogger just today... and on her blog I discovered the most wonderful explanation of quilt making "From Start To Finish".

Lisa from celebrate CREATIVITY in all its forms takes you through every single step of, and I quote, "cutting up lots of fabric into tiny pieces and then sewing it back together". Some fantastic photos of the process are included- take a few minutes to check it out!

HB Early Bird Fabric & Pattern Launch

I know, I know... I'm on a huge Heather Bailey kick right now, and this will be my second HB post in just a few weeks... but she's currently launching two new fabric lines and, as I learned today, some brand new sewing patterns at the same time... how can I be expected to contain my excitement?!!

Two patterns that I had to put an order in for immediately are the "Happy Stacker"... an absolutely adorable toddler-toy that has me wracking my brain to figure out what friends, family members or even acquaintances have a child the right age to give me an excuse to whip one (or twelve) of these together...
And the "Pear, Apple, Tomato & Two Strawberries" pincushion pattern that actually has me so excited that I'm bouncing around in my chair a little bit right now.
Both of these will look so fantastic in her new "Pop Garden" fabric line... available for "Early Bird" sales right now at Heather Bailey (don't forget to check her site for a 10% off Early Bird coupon code!!).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Would it be weird to wear an apron all day long?

Because I don't think I would ever want to take this one off. Available from freshsqueezedfabrics.

Crazy for...

I've been doing some thinking lately about crazy-quilting & other ways of using scrap fabrics. I love the freedom they represent- the colors and random designs they encompass. I adore the small sections of embroidery, coupled with patchwork, buttons, ribbons and anything else you can find on your craft studio floor.

I was recently flipping through "Fabric Leftovers: Simple, Adaptable Ways to Use up Scraps" by D’Arcy-Jean Milne at a local bookstore. Its on my Amazon wishlist now. She has some fantastic tips & ideas for using up not only your fabric scraps, but also your leftover threads.

And on this same topic, this quilt just took my breath away-
Created by, and available from iHannah.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Trying my hand...

I've seen so many awesome & subversive-type embroidery projects on Craftster lately, that I've been inspired to pick up the needle and thread to try something I generally avoid at all costs... sewing something by hand.

I love the idea of drawing something with thread- its different then working with fabric because the colors present so many options, and you have complete and total control of everything. You build the entire design & pattern from the ground up - and never have to worry about matching something someone else dreamed up.

There are no limits to the things you can create. Right now I have sort of a paisley design bouncing around in my head... and a dragonfly I saw in a book recently. Perhaps I'll embroider a likeliness of one of my dogs- or both.

Or maybe I'll be miserable at this particular craft (anything is possible!) and send all my materials out in the "Fill a Box Swap" I just signed up for on Craftster. (The idea is you fill a post office mailer box with supplies and materials you can bear to cull from your stash- and trade with someone else to get some new crafty stuff, and hopefully some new perspective/ideas.)

Someone just might be getting a TON of embroidery thread!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

"I just bought you a crapload of fake doughnuts..."

A gift from her husband started it all... and now Sarah Jo Marks is a food-stuffie addict.

None of you are laughing, are you? We all do it. We all collect something craft-related. Sure, I can pretend that my shelves and shelves of fabric are "for sewing with", but deep down I know that some of it only exists in my stash because I wanted it, I needed it, that deep orange with the purple flowers and the tiny little seahorses just called to me. Its about the collecting.

And here is an excellent article by LA Weekly on Miss Marks, with serious props to some stuffy-food crafters, and an acknowledgment to all you crafty-stashers out there... you're not alone.

I'm a finalist!

A fun "Caption the Cartoon" contest going on at Crafty Cartoons...
Stop in and vote for your favorite...

Mine: "If I can just find the wrap pants tutorial, and the cute little smock pattern I saw last week... I can skip doing laundry for one more day."

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