Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Work in Progress

I've seen America Quilts Creatively just a few times on PBS. Actually it may have only been twice. Both times that I recall seeing it, I saw the same episode. #913 to be exact. It really got ideas whirling in my head. Patricia Bolton combines several things I love - paper, stamps, fabric and quilting to make journal quilts. She layers and manipulates all the elements to create really interesting finished pieces. I'm hoping to be able to pull something of the sort together to give my Mom for Mother's Day. I've pulled a few photos from the (way way) past, printed them out on a few different papers, put together a background paper to start with and now......I'm stuck. I rattled around with it a bit last night and nothing said "by george that's it!". Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have an "Ah ha!" moment. Fingers crossed.

On a totally different subject, I saw this from the great online magazine Small and thought it was a brilliant idea. So brilliant that I served them for breakfast this morning, heart cut outs and all. The girls, on the other hand, found them significantly less brilliant than I did. Both pieces of toast were dismissed. Rachel stuck her spoon in the egg and deemed that enough of a try and Sarah wasn't buying it at all.

.....and, she's still dressing herself. I love this outfit! The denim jumper is really too short to wear as a dress now, but it looks like some sort of cool apron over the capri pants and t-shirt. I hope that she can continue to hold on to her innocence, free spirit and confidence as she gets older because she's one cool gal all on her own!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The girl can dress

Rachel. She was up, hair done and ready to go this morning before Jim or I ever crawled out of bed. She has always been an early riser. What is not typical is for her to get up and get herself ready to start the day. This is not typical church fare for us, but it's what she chose, all on her own, and I loved the outfit so much that there was no way I would tell her to change into something else. She's got a purple long sleeved t-shirt with a floral summer skirt and, because it got chilly here again, why not throw on some red stripey leggings? Gone from the picture are the pink socks, hot pink mary jane crocs and the pink headband. It's a look I wish I could pull off!

A package is ready to head out tomorrow. Birthday wishes for two small friends, brother and sister, with birthdays just a week apart. I am already late for the first birthday, but by george, I might even be a tad early for the second birthday! The doll is another Black Apple doll, pattern courtesy of Emily Martin and taken from Martha Stewart's site. T-shirts are more freezer paper stencils. I take back everything I have said about using Jacquard Dye-na-Flow for these stencils. I am giving up on it for this process. Flow it does...right under the freezer paper and all over the fabric. How I got any to work is beyond me. I ruined two t-shirts this time around, so those paints have been put into a separate bag and I will not mess with them when doing stencils. I used Jacquard Textile Color for the dinosaur and some Tulip Soft Brushable Fabric Paint for the elephant. The Tulip paint didn't cover as well as the Jacquard, but Michael's didn't have all the colors I needed in it, so more paint experimenting. I think my best bet would be just to place an order with Dharma Trading Co. and get what I need. At least now I've settled on what I need. I guess the ruined shirts can be paint smocks for the girls - you know, I hate to throw anything out and can find a second use for pretty much anything!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Progress made

I got lucky this afternoon. Sarah is only napping a few times a week, at best, and it was clear that today needed to be a nap day. Between when she fell asleep and when Rachel got home from pre-school I had almost a whole hour to myself. Did I do dishes? Nope. Did I vacuum? Nope. Did I run upstairs and try out a new freezer paper stencil? Yup. I bought a few new fabric paints to try out. I like the Jacquard Dye-na-Flow, but it is so fluid, that I've had a few problems with it seeping under the stencil. On my last project I used Jacquard Textile color and it was a bit thicker and there was no seeping. I went to Michael's today to get a jar of the Textile color in black and of course they didn't have it, so today I decided to try Pebeo Setacolor. I was happy to find that it is a thicker consistency and am happy with the results.

I had my fingers crossed after I put the paint on, as I was really worried about the stencil sticking, especially between the tines of the fork. I feel like the lines could have been a bit crisper, and I don't know if that's from the fabric paint, my ironing the stencil on, or the fabric, but all in all I am happy. I'm hoping to do a full set of these, but this would be a case where perhaps a silk screen would have been a better route to take, as it's not exactly going to be a tea party cutting out these images time and time again. And since I only see to make things to give away, these will hopefully be a gift, but I'm not saying for who or what.

So the napkins have had their start and while I work away at those, I also have this big pile of fabric that's already been washed and ironed and is waiting to turn into skirts, dresses and capri pants for the girls. I'm glad I've kicked the allergies/cold from last week - I've got things to do and people to craft for!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

While I haven't been productive, others have....

This past week has been rough. I think I got hit with a great big dose of tree pollen allergies, but who knows. Maybe it was allergies, maybe it was a cold. Regardless, the majority of my week was spent trying to maintain a supply of oxygen to my body. I finally bit the bullet and tried some Claritin for the first time ever, and I'm feeling much improved now. Hopefully the fog has been lifted and I can get back to the business at hand....crafting.

While I don't have anything to show for the past week (or two), Kathie does. Rachel made her debut on Ebay this week after Kathie finished up this painting. I am amazed at the way she can paint tulle! Not to mention that beautiful little face.

And that little girl has been busy too. She brought home two drawings this week that I just love. This one is a skateboarding teacher giving a lesson to several children, all on the skateboard. I believe that is also a dog (in green) in front of the teacher. I love the teacher's hair and also the fact that they didn't let a little drop of rain ruin their lesson.

And call me crazy, but I detect a theme for her week. Picture number two is of three dogs out surfing. I double checked a few times to see if maybe it wasn't two people holding hands surfing with their dog, but it is not. It's definitely three dogs surfing. And again, they have not let the rain ruin their day.

Next post....something crafty from me!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I heart the Goodwill

Last week, when we were at my parent's for Easter, my sister and I made a run to the local Goodwill. No trip is complete without a trip to this particular Goodwill, where all children's clothes are $1.59, unless they sport the tag color of the day, in which case they are $1. Both the girls really love wearing dresses right now, so I was very excited to score this green velvet number with flowers embroidered all over it.
Shortly after finding the green dress, this little aqua number jumped out at me. It is wool with a cotton knit lining and the label is in French. All the embellishments around the bottom are wool as well. I think I may need to tack a few of these down, but for the $1.59 price, I think I'm up to that. Here's a picture of the detail as well. Something to keep in mind for future dresses that might need to be spiffed up.

And for me, who can resist a llama shirt? I tried on three things. Two of which did not fit, or at least did not flatter me (at all), but I saved the llama t-shirt to try on last. I think I actually squealed when I put it on. A little googling has revealed that guster is actually a band out of Boston. I am not hip or cool enough to know such things any more and while I wonder what sort of music I'm promoting, the llama is just to cool not to wear. Prior to my googling, I was certain that guster was the name of the llama. It's a story I might stick to. I am also thinking about llama freezer paper stencils, because really, who wouldn't want a llama on their shirt?

I was also lucky enough to score a new pair of Nine West shoes for myself that set me back all of $3.95, as well as a groovy bed sheet that was the color of the day and half off. My sister picked herself up two never worn pairs of shoes, including a pair of Clarks. Other goodies were also had, although none quite as pretty as the above. I live in fear of the day that one of us goes there and prices have been changed to reflect a general lack of good deals. My sister use to get great kid's toys there, but pickins were slim this time around, although I did see an opened (and taped shut) box of Target brand sugar cones for $2. Those are the sorts of price changes I fear.