Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kong Hee Fat Choy! A Little Late...

Happy New Year! Welcome to the year of the water dragon.
Every year for about the past 10 years we have celebrated Chinese New Year with some very dear friends. We are treated like royalty as we feast on over 20 different dishes, each more amazing than the last. In appreciation of host’s generosity I like to present a small thank you gift. I spend a great deal of time trying to create a gift that fits that year’s zodiac animal theme. Because this is the year of the dragon and our chief and host have a very special bond to dragons I agonized over this year’s gift. I knew I had hit on an idea when I discovered this fabric in a shop.

I used multiply layers of fabric to create depth and tecture. A few buttons were added and I gave the dragon red glowing eyes.

I made card banners representing the specific zodiac of each person we dine with... 

including one for a dragon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dusting Off the Sewing Machine

My project for  the last few weeks has been window treatments. We bought this house with the intention of only living in it for 2 years. We have now been here for over 15 years. With the state of the economy we figure we will be here another 15 years. With that in mind I deiced it was time to get rid of the mid 90's lace curtains.

I started in my 3 year old's bedroom. The nursery was originally decorated in monkeys, but I thought it was time to put away the baby stuff. That was a sad day. I let Neil pick out the fabric. It is not what I would have chosen for him, but it's his room and he wanted strips and an outer space theme.

The curtains for the kitchen are store bought, but I made the Celtic knot bunting to match. These light covers were bought on a trip we took to Seattle in June. I purchased them from the Bella Luz Studio  I love them so much that I turn them on every night.

This is the back door. I made this curtain out of some left over fabric. The bunting is made out of the same material as the ones in the kitchen. I added buttons for extra interest.

The felt garland was made by local artist Dina Fernandez.
I tend to buy fabric that I have fallen in love with. Then I store if for years on end until I fine the perfect project. This zodiac fabric is one of these fabrics. The bunting is made up of our families zodiac symbols.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Necklaces

I adore Dia de los Muertos. It happens to be one of my most favorite holidays. Every year I try to come up with a new hand crafted project. This year I found these amazing resin skulls at Mexican Sugar Skull. They are really affordable at only $8 a set.

white resin skull blanks for you to paint with brightly colored acryllics

I sent them to my father who drilled holes in them for me. Power tools and I do not get along well.

I hit them with a coat of white paint.

Then each piece was painted to match the personality of the person who was to receive it. I added a few beads and a chain and voila , the Dia de los Muertos necklace was born.

Monday, November 28, 2011

For the last few years I have been making sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos. This obsession started when Julie (a very dear friend) suggested we have a Dia de los Muertos party. We had so much fun planning and throwing the party that when she moved to Montana I decided to continue on with the tradition of making sugar skulls.

This year I offered to make the sugar skulls for a group of women who like to get together and do different projects. It was so fun seeing what everyone came up with. Most had no previous experience with this traditional holiday. They had no foundation within which to start, so each skull turned out truly unique.

My old mold got broken, so I visited one of my favorite on line shops, Mexican Sugar Skull. They carry a large selection of molds and sugar skull making supplies. They also have a great selection of decorations, jewelry and fabric. 

We used a selection of silk flowers, gems and jewels, and frosting.

Miss Joan's

Miss Karmen's

Miss Karen's
Yep that is a glass of whiskey in the background. Decorating sugar skulls and whiskey DO go together!


and mine

The frosting hardens and the skulls can be keep from year to year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Black and Red Skull Coat

This is the jacket I made for Halloween this year. This jacket was repurposed from 2 dresses and a paints and top set. The shear skull fabric was purchased years ago and has been waiting for just the right project.  

I loosely used a pattern I bought from Katwise. If you are not familiar with her sweater coats they are a must see.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Buddha Pin

Buddha Pin
Button by Dina Fernadez, sead beads and glass
Another piece finished. It is amazing how much work can be done when you only sleep a few hours a night.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lowly Worm Now Lives Here

My son has fallen in love with Richard Scarry’s Busy Town. For his birthday he asked for a Lowly Worm “lovie”. When I was a kid I remembered that I had Richard Scarry’s Biggest Make-It Book Ever, it was the coolest kids’ activity book ever, but the best thing about it was the Lowly Worm doll pattern. As a kid I spent hours lovingly cutting and sewing my very own worm. I adored him.  Armed with this special childhood memory I went to my computer and spent endless hours searching the Internet for a copy of this highly treasured book.  After much anticipation and excitement I was disappointed when I found out that this book is out-of-print and the most affordable copy I found was $40 over my budget. Not wanting to disappoint Neil on his birthday I put on my creative thinking cap and went to work.
I got out some brown packing paper and drafted out a pattern.

Lowly's felt color palette

Cut out and ready to sew.

Basic Lowly waiting for his personality

A smile for Neil

Details of the hat

The finished product

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finally Some New Work

Several weeks ago my computer took on a super bug . It died a horrible death, but my wonderful brother-in-law came to the rescue and was able to bring it back from the beyond. Now that I am up and running once again I can finally post some new work.

This necklace was created around this Raku skull bead. The skull bead came from a very special friend and I have been waiting to find the perfect way to show it off. Blue crushed velvet, ribbon and mixed glass beads.

Clay face on black velvet, pearls and mixed beads.

Clay button, by Dina Fernandez, flower buttons and mixed beads

It feels great getting back to my beadwork once again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

 I made this for a gift months ago and then forgot to post the images. My friend Deidre is a partner in a theater project in Bakersfield California and I made this jacket for her to wear on opening night.  I constructed this jacket out of 2 black velvet shirts, a pair of black velvet paints and 2 black velvet shirts. From this mix I created this jacket. Deidre is MUCH smaller than me so my dress form is too big, therefore the jacket is a bit stretched.

I started the base of the jacket with this long-sleeved top. I cut up the front seam  and serged the raw seams

I made a paper pattern , With the paints, one top and one skirt I was able to construct a full skirt

I added button details

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Old Earrings Made New

You might be surprised to find out that I am still creating... I have been so busy with work lately that I have little time for anything else. This weekend I did make the time to convert a pair of clip on earrings. I found these beauties at an estate sale for $3. Some wire, beads, 14 karat hooks and voilĂ , new earrings.