Monday, July 27, 2009

Pendants -Plastic Deer and Embroidered Leather!

i realized that i never got around to posting these, so i thought i'd do it now, while things are kinda boring around here, with me away!

these were for a pendant swap on, oh, a while ago now. i signed up to send two pendants, and did two pretty different styles!

the deer pendants were for the smaller group of us who were sending and receiving the extra pendants, and other than trying to chose colours that i thought the other swappers would like, i didn't really cater to them as much. these were so much fun!

remember the pieces i worked in the michael de meng class? one of them had a mounted deer attached to her chest? i really really loved how that looked, and couldn't resist making these pendants.

the deer were REALLY hard to find, way harder than i'd expected! i looked around online a bunch, and finally ordered some, but i wasn't sure they'd arrive in time, so i found a cake decorating place out in langley that had them as well. it was good that i did, since the ones i ordered online were smaller than i'd expected!

i chopped the heads off with my handy dandy dremel, and then glued them onto the backgrounds. i had a pile of deer bodies out on my deck for ages afterwards!

deer pendants

they were incredibly difficult to photograph, as you can tell.....

no flash
deer pendants, no flash

deer pendants with flash

for the other set, which was going to everyone in the swap, i made embroidered leather pendants. these were a lot of fun, because i try to find a design for each swapper that i thought they'd like. the leather was all recycled, from purses and clothing, and after the embroidery's done i glue another piece of leather onto the back and cut them out.

brown leather - tulip, flower octagon, swallow

flower octagon
this design was from


tulip trapunto
this design was from

skull cameo
this one was from i sized it smaller, and it caused a lot of rippling in the design, i obviously shrunk it too much!

maroon leather photo - cupcake and peacock

peacock feather
this design was from

pink cupcake
this design was from

3 owls photo

pink owls
i digitized this design myself, based on a vintage owl trivet that i have. i made an extra of this one, and it's in my etsy shop

tan owl
this one was an extra as well, so it's up on etsy too

trees and fancy feathers photo

i digitized this design myself, and my sister swiped the extra


fancy feathers
this design was from

these two are both free standing lace, embroidered onto wash away stabilizer. i love how they turned out!
lace bat

lace web cameo

both lace pendants photo
both designs came from

and these ones were an extra goodie, because i was late sending out and i felt bad! i digitized one of the craftster logos and stitched them out on black leather. i sent one to leah too!



i hope you like them! the swappers definitely seemed to.

i'm still in manitoba, and will be for a few more weeks. i went thrifting a bit on saturday and got some incredible finds (vintage embroidery patterns!! filmstrips!!), and yesterday i headed into winnipeg to visit my grandma in the hospital again, and then met up with a friend. we had a great visit, and went to the MOST AMAZING FABRIC STORE EVER! i took pictures, and bought way too much, but that'll have to wait until i have high speed internet again!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fabric Friday - Cotton Moire and Vintage Flowers

i'm still in manitoba, but i prepared a few posts before i left, including fabric fridays, thank god. if i'd had to use 56k to write up posts and add photos, it would never happen! it's taking forever as it is just to get this posted, and i'm starting to wonder how the internet ever caught on, given the immense frustration of dial up!

honestly, between the dial up and the lack of cell phone coverage, i'm about ready to scream. (a short conversation with my dad today required calling back FIVE times because the call kept dropping) i am so spoiled living in the lower mainland!

today's fabric is quite fitting, because as i've been waiting for pages to load, i've been embroidering away on a white version of it!

i've always loved moire fabric. i vividly remember a piece of turquoise taffeta.. oddly i remember it as fabric, but i can't remember what i made with it! a skirt, i'd assume. anyway, the point is, i love it. i love the visual texture it creates in your garments or other projects, and i think it's a more subtle version of faux bois (which i also adore!) defines it as
Moire and Moire taffeta [mwaah-ray'] Means watered. Obtained by passing through engraving rollers, producing crushed "watermark" patterns that reflect light differently. Used most often on ribbed fabrics made with cotton, acetate, rayon, silk and some manufactured fabrics. Moire taffeta is taffeta with a moire finish that has been heat set.

i've never used REAL moire, with the crushed watermark patterns, just the heat set taffeta style. a few weeks ago i found cotton moire, which appears to be printed on, using a tone on tone ink.

cotton moire

i have one piece of this red, and three pieces of white cotton moire, one of which i'm currently embroidering on! i have plans for the red as well... it will hopefully involve sequins...

and to go with the red, here's a lovely medium weight vintage fabric i found on the same shopping trip.
red yellow flowers

isn't it pretty?

Friday, July 17, 2009

quickie fabric friday!

i'm off on a trip in oh, about 7 hours (i haven't started laundry yet!), so this is just a super quickie, since i missed last week's fabric friday.

blue flowers
isn't is pretty? i totally have a thing for blue flowers! this is actually my sister's fabric, i found it while helping her arrange her new studio space. i had to steal it to scan!

i'm off for manitoba for 3 weeks, and it should be interesting. my grandmother's having surgery, so i'll be splitting my time between her and grandpa and my other grandmother, hopefully with some thrifting time in between!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

handmade nation and sewing FOR ME!!!!

it's beginning to look like i won't have the time to write about handmade nation before i leave on friday, so i'll just do a quickie post about it for now. i really want to write about it in more detail, because i've had several really good conversations about it since (andi and tishie!), and it's really correlated with some thoughts i've had lately, and other conversations that have been going on on other blogs. interesting, for sure. i took notes, so maybe i'll have time to write something up while i'm back east!

but overall, it was fabulous! it was really awesome to see so many people out for it - even though i barely knew any of them! i've been so out of the loop the last few years. i wish i'd been feeling better earlier in the week, i totally missed how many local twitter and blog folks were planning to attend, i could have met up with some of them. i did meet becka from bliss in a teacup, and that was awesome! (i got to see the goodies from their shop in person too - gorgeous! i'm so in love with the playing card magnets, and the wooden bookmarks that aren't up yet!) and i ran into jackie, who i haven't seen in a long time, which was also awesome!

my sister and i went together, and it was so awesome to hang out with her. photobooth vancouver was there, so we both tried to take pics "showing our DIY". my bag was too big to fit in the picture with me!!
(the last one is funny because i wanted to get up on the bench to show my skirt, but realized at the last minute that i didn't have time!)
my sister is so awesome! i love the look on her face in these pics.

i managed to get both of our tickets early enough to get goodie bags - goodie bags are always fun!
bag all

with all the paper stuff taken out
bag goodiesmy goodies
the soap smells super yummy, and thankfully wasn't an artificial flower scent - i wouldn't had to toss the whole bag then! really, scented soap probably wasn't the best/most accessible idea!

andi's bag had different goodies -
andi's goodies
i'm super jealous of the little birdie pin, it's so cute! i don't know who made it, there wasn't a business card attached.

so fun! i love the little silkscreened totes they were packaged up in!

there was a craft fair set up before and after the film, and while i didn't buy anything more than cupcakes, andi found a brooch that's so totally perfect for her.
telly designs cameo
she also beat me, and bought the wooden bookmark from bliss in a teacup that i'd been eying. it was really better for her though - she even recognized the wood grain that it was. andi's such a wood snob!

most of the craft fair stuff wasn't really my style - gorgeous stuff, but pretty "boutiquey", not so much funky, you know? there were a few things i really liked, but since i'm trying to spend very little money before i go back east (i'm saving it all for prairie thrift stores!!), i resisted temptation!

there was apparently a book signing earlier in the afternoon, but i'm not sure how folks found out about it - i didn't hear about it until we arrived at the theatre and discovered that the book signing wouldn't be part of the Q&A afterward like originally posted. the Q&A was really great, and is part of what i'd like to write more about. and i got Faythe to sign my book anyway, so it all worked out!

here's a kinda crappy pic, the only one i got inside the theatre -
handmade nation vancouver premiere
(taken from the balcony above)

lots of vancouver crafters blogged about it, most of whom had way better pictures than me - especially kim werker's, they're lovely! definitely check out cabin + cub's post, laura bucci's post, daulhaus' post (i completely fell in love with her pottery mugs), henryandlili's pic, and coco cupcake's post (i had two of her cupcake - ohmyGOD yummy!).

there were a few press mentions before the premiere, and it was really neat to see and talk to people who are totally disconnected from the primarily young "indie" scene, but read about it and decided to come out. there was an article in the Georgia Straight and Faythe was interviewed on Breakfast Television. (i STILL can't get the sound to work on my computer, and want to watch that so bad!)

and also go take a gander at the pics posted on handmade nation's flickr photostream, and the wrap up blog post!

in other exciting news, i sewed FOR MYSELF this past week. i never do that! i whipped up a couple of skirts, both altered from vintage clothing, made a few pairs of footless tights, and most excitingly, i made myself a purse!

the first skirt is pretty basic, i just cut the top off of a mid-calf length vintage fortrel skirt and added a super wide elastic waistband. i love the pleats!



the second was a bit more complicated, because the fabric piece i had was from the middle of a dress - andi already made a skirt out of the bottom for herself, and cut off the top. i LOVE the velvet fabric, so she gave me what she had left. it was barely enough for the skirt - i added a cotton waistband, and still didn't have enough to turn the hem up, so it's just serged.
(it's wrinkly, cause i took this friday morning after the premiere)

i added a pocket too, cause pockets are awesome!

i haven't made myself a purse since high school - i can't believe it's been that long! it's so ridiculous, i've been working for vinyl for so many years now, yet everything i sew is always for everyone else. this one was a prototype of sorts, so there are definitely things i'd do differently next time, but i'm still pretty happy with it.
bag 1

bag 1
it's HUGE, i know! i wanted it to be big enough that i could put small purchases in it, instead of using shopping bags, and i wanted it to hold magazines and a ziplock with my current embroidery project in it. it's bit too big, truthfully, but oh well!

bag 2

bag 2

the lining is this GORGEOUS handprinted cotton from thailand that i've been hoarding.

i did a long pocket on one side, with stitching to separate it into three - one for my cell, one for my camera, and one for a pen or lipstick.
inner pockets

and on the other side i did a zippered pocket out of the purple glitter vinyl
inner glitter pocket

i made a button loop and covered a button in the glitter vinyl, but honestly, i know i'll never do it up. i should've just left it off, now the loop is driving me nuts - hence why it's pinned down! i do LOVE how the covered button turned out though!

i didn't take pics of the two pairs of tights i made, cause honestly, they weren't that exciting, but this pic, taken outside the theatre, shows the black pair. the other pair is a deep cranberry/plum colour. just basic cotton/spandex 4 way stretch, they take less than an hour to whip out.
new skirt and bag

i'm so glad i finally got around to sewing FOR MYSELF! now i just need to alter some tshirts and make myself a new hoodie....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Craftster folks ROCK!!

oh, i am so so late posting this. so so late.

a little while ago i got an AWESOME surprise in the mail! the amazing twiztidblood organized a bunch of craftster members (all folks who've been in ATC swaps that i've organized) and they all got together and sent me ATCs and good wishes! it was SO INCREDIBLE of them. honestly, i was all teary eyed when i opened the envelope, it was such an amazing thing for twiz to organize, and for people to send me their love like that.

twiz sent me multiple goodies, and i actually missed two things in these pics - a note card and a sticker.

she sent me this pretty feathered bird card/page
from twiztidblood

and this gorgeous koi page/card
from twiztidblood

and fabulous ephemera, and the ribbon that everything was wrapped in (i was too impatient to take pics while it was all still wrapped!)
from twiztidblood

that alone would have been an awesome surprise!

but there was also this fabulous ATC from spookshowbaby
from spookshowbaby
(i love that it's a woman LATCH HOOKING! how awesome is that?)

and this beautiful ATC from karin_, who also sent some awesome ephemera along
from karin
(aren't the colours fabulous? i love the pink!)

and a whole BUNCH of ATCs from audio-astrophysics!
from audio-astrophysics
(such an awesome picture, i love her! she looks so proud of her somewhat creepy muscles!)

from audio-astrophysics
(two amazing amazing and truthful quotes!)

from audio-astrophysics
(at first glace, it's a pretty card, but when you read the words... ha! i love the contrast!)

from audio-astrophysics
(lookit how sassy she is! and those gloves are incredible, i totally want them!)

and a fabulous acrylic card from SewHelpMe
from sewhelpme
(i love her acrylic cards! and rhinestones always make me happy!)

such an awesome get well/thinking of you package, and it honestly meant so much to me. i have the ATCs in my binder, all on their very own page so that i can look at them all together.

i haven't been on craftster very much lately, and i've been missing it and all the swappers and my mod girls, but i just haven't been able to handle it. i'm having a really hard time focusing and getting things accomplished in general, always feeling like i'm so behind that i'll never catch up, and as much as i love it, craftster's the worst for it. i'm at the point now where i can have ONE focus per day, that's it, whether it's posting here, making a phone call, going to the grocery store, whatever, just ONE thing, or else i get all flustered and overwhelmed and anxious. there are too many aspects to craftster - i get all stressed out about swaps, about mod duties, about keeping up with my swap friends and the mod girls, about actually posting things that i've made, etc, etc. so really the fact that i'm so late posting this is a prime example of why i can't handle craftster right now! it was so so amazing to receive this package full of love, and being told that i'm missed as much as i miss everyone myself.

i'm really glad that i'm finally posting these, i've been feeling really bad about the delay.

in other new, tomorrow is HANDMADE NATION!!!!!!!

i am so so so excited!

i was DETERMINED to make myself something new for it, because it's been oh so long since i've sewn for MYSELF! in addition, i realized that in all the years i've been working with vinyl, i've never made myself a purse. isn't that ridiculous? i've always just received them in swaps, or even, the horror, BOUGHT purses. but i did it!! i made myself a purse! i'll try to get pics up of it soon. and then, because i still had time before my sister came over for help with wedding skirts, i made myself a skirt! two, actually! (i'll only wear one at a time!). i have a huge stack of skirts and dresses waiting to be altered into skirts that fit me, and i managed to make/alter TWO of them today! one was very simple, just chopping off the top and adding elastic, but the other was more complicated and turned out super cute! obviously, sewing was today's focus! i definitely pushed too much, my back is currently screaming at me, but it was really nice to feel like i accomplished something. and now i have a non-boring purse and skirt to wear to the screening!

have i mentioned that i'm really really really excited about the handmade nation screening?!

i'm also really excited that the venue changed, because i was NOT looking forward to driving to the yuppie west side, i'm so happy that it's in east van, which is totally my comfort zone. that worked out really well, now i just need to find my copy of the book!
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