Saturday, June 11, 2011

Second Week of Creativity, Day 7-9, a New Hair-do, and a "Recycled" Purse

Day 7:

The calendar prompt for Day 7 was fashion. You know I love that! Too bad it was a work day and we already had plans for the evening! Booooo!

This blog is as much about me being a stylist as it is about me being a seamstress and designer though, so I decided to make the best of my limited time and go with a new hairstyle I saw my sister do for curly hair--and I love how it turned out!

Days 8-9:

The prompt for Day 8 was recycle, and it was a perfect reminder that I'd bought a cute purse at a consignment shop recently (pre-owned means I'm recycling!), and it needed some repairs. Even though it didn't need a needle, there was a lot of "threading" on this project :)

I just love the beads on this purse! It had some long threads on the ends of the strap where it was broken, so I used what was already there for the repairs. It was a pretty strong monofilament, so I used a straight pin to help me untie the knots, and then thread it back through on one end:

And then I noticed it looked really weak on the other edge where it connected to the pouch part:

It wouldn't make much sense to fix the strap only to have the it fall off the purse later on, so I pulled the beads off and threaded it all back through again:

I ran out of time on day 8, so I put everything inside the purse and zipped it up so nothing would get lost till I could finish it the next day:

Once everything was re-beaded and tied tightly, multiple times, I pulled out some matches and melted the threads very closely, melding the knots together:

All done!
It's a pretty fine line between melding the knot and melting right through it :) I was very careful tho, and now it looks like it will hold up for a long time! I told you I could do fashion without the sewing machine! And this one was only 3.50 total--resourcefulness is so great for the wallet! What's your own favorite deal/fix lately?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Week of Creativity, Days 3-6, Dresses that are too short, and Screen Printing Designs

Day 3:

I got a dress about a week ago at a consignment store. It was really short and didn't have sleeves, but I loved it and figured it could be a swim cover up. Of course, it didn't occur to me when I bought it that I didn't swim very often, so I pulled it out this week and decided to make it into a shirt :) I cut about 6 inches off the bottom and got a nice summer shirt out of it, and since the bottom portion still had the hem on it, I might use it later to add sleeves so I won't have to wear a shirt under--isn't it just so pretty?

Day 4 & 6:

For my husband's birthday, I wanted to do something personal, and since I recently got a Silhouette machine and learned a really cheap way to screen print things (tutorial and examples forthcoming!), I wanted to screen print a LEGO Mini-Figure (the Hasmat Man to be precise) and brick. Here's the designs I worked up on Saturday for that:

I also thought I should make something for myself---and beside sewing, photography is one of my greatest passions :) So on Day 6 (Monday) I thought "how about a Silhouette of my camera?"

And what did I do for day 5, you say? Well, since you asked, I made a special dinner for my wedding anniversary, my own new version of Chicken Parmesan, and it turned out better than I had ever made before! Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take a picture of it, so you will just have to trust me :)

First Week of Creativity, Day 2--Pinspiration Bananas

I didn't realize when I started the creativity challenge that there was a calendar for it with suggestions on themes to create around each day! Some of them were fun to incorporate, and other days I just did my own thing, but it's awesome to at least have a prompt on hand, just like those grade school writing assignments :) Here's what I did for Day 2:

Have you heard of Pinterest yet? I'm kinda in love with it! Jenny did a post about it a while ago if you want more info, but I'm sure I will also be gushing about it constantly because it seems to be the birthplace of the greatest ideas! Basically, it is a site where users can create digital pin-boards for all of their interests (thus Pin-terest). Say you are on your favorite blog, like this one (ha ha, I wish!) and you see a totally awesome idea/tutorial/product etc. that you want to remember. Just click "Pin it" on your bookmarks bar (which you put there when you created an account) and a dialog box will pop up so you can pick thumbnail and type a description. Then all of your followers will see it, so you can instantly share cool ideas with your friends and also remember them for later, especially if you want to try to DIY something, but don't have time when you read it! Can you tell I'm totally loving this concept? I have boards for fashion, crafts, cool photos, recipes, random sayings--you name it!

I also follow a ton of super crafty people, so I am constantly drooling over their ideas, and re-pinning them to my own boards so I can try them later. That's where Day 2's "Pin"spiration came from :)

Someone pinned a "faux ice cream" recipe that consisted only of a frozen banana and 2 tablespoons cocoa, and I had wanted to try it but never got around to it. Then I saw that the calendar prompt was ice cream, and I was on a no sugar challenge with my sisters and only had 30 minutes between work and choir practice, so I decided to use the "pinsiration" for a creative snack. And I am here to tell you---it was delicious! Here's some photos of the process:

Looks awesome right? It totally was! If I did it again, I would blend the frozen banana first, and then I would put the cocoa in and stir it, and then turn the blender back on for the ultra mix. Now you go try it :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bursts of Inspiration

We all have creativity lulls, whether they are caused by lack of time due busy work schedules or travel, lack of budget and/or supplies, or simply lack of energy, all of which I've been a happy captive to lately (seriously, visiting my family was so fun!), and getting back into the swing of things is almost always hard. Luckily for me, my good friend Carmen found a great "30 Days of Creativity" challenge just as I returned to real life, and I'm really excited to try to create something every day of June--little bursts of inspiration and creativity really fuel the longer projects too! Due to work, most of my sewing related projects will have to be on the weekends, but just getting the creative juices flowing will be fun and I want to share it with you. I will be posting my daily projects every few days on here, but you can also see what everyone else is creating during June on Pinterest!

And since I wasn't completely stagnant since I last posted, I have several projects to do catch-up posts about during this month as well! Here's the results of Day 1 of the creativity challenge:

I had some jewelry findings from JoAnns, so I made myself a new set of earrings. I'm not a vain person, but I really think we all dress to show our personality, and I love jewelry so very much. I think it adds a touch of class and a bit of fun to the outfit, and it reminds me to always enjoy life, but act like a lady too! I rarely ever wear makeup, because it bothers my eyes and feels a bit fake, but jewelry basically is my makeup---I don't leave home without it (and as with makeup, a little can go a long way!)

Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite accessory is, and definitely give me a shout out if you are going to do the 30 Days of Creativity with me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lace Love!!!!

So are you dying to know what the lace "teaser" was all about in my last post? Well, even if you aren't dying to know, I am dying to show you! (I've been having a hard time finding all of the photos I took though--time to organize the computer!). I gotta say, I love the way this project turned out!

It all started when Jenny and Michelle found the following Christmas word blocks at Costco:

Wanna guess how much they were? $3. Count 'em. Three DOLLARS! The set comes with 9 blocks of varied sizes painted red and green with a cream letter on the front and the back so you can mix and match them to create several Christmas words.

I can't even tell you how excited we were about these things, especially considering Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday ever!

And since Michelle and Jenny are smart, they thought we should get some extras to paint later for other holidays. You already saw my version for St. Patty's Day, though I didn't use these specific blocks, but what I didn't tell you is that I was too chicken to paint over the whole block and make new letters at first... so for V-day, I totally cheated! And I did it by once again trusting in my strengths--and using textiles!

I picked out the letters for LOVE and taped off the portions I didn't want to paint over:

Then I painted around the edges with brown so they would just be a simple brown and red background,

but when the brown clashed with my wood furniture, that's when the actual inspiration hit and I pulled out a lace curtain I got from the thrift store and cut off a chunk:

I tried using it as a stencil first, painting on top of it with cream, but the paint seeped through the fabric as well, so instead of a pretty negative impression of the lace, I got a splotchy mess where the paint seeped through. Gross... that just looks like I don't know how to paint smoothly. I was looking more for visual texture than physical texture, so I painted brown back over it and thought some more about how to make it work. And that's when the card-making attempts of my past came back to me--I needed to use the fabric as a STAMP, not a STENCIL!
 (applying the "ink" on top of plastic to protect the table--I just cut open a garbage bag)

 Placing the stamp!

After a little trial and error, I found my hands got "inked" too much when I tried to apply the "stamp" without a buffer, and then the cream paint left on my hands would get in the holes of the lace that were supposed to stay clean...and brown. So I would position the lace lightly where I wanted it and then put a tissue on top, and then pressed down. Granted, I still got some paint on my hands as it seeped through the tissue,

and I had to use a new tissue each time I "stamped" to keep from more smudges, but it still protected the little holes in the lace from my dirty hands!

I also learned I needed to paint the piece of lace in between each "stamping" to make sure the design looks the same on each block, especially since the tissues dried out the paint faster than normal application would. In these two blocks, you can see I didn't have as much paint on one as the other.

I fixed that later, I promise!

 I was going to put a different holiday on the back and just flip them around when seasons changed, but I liked the lace design so much that I decided I wanted these letters displayed on the coffee table, so I painted the back too. I just love how antique and detailed the lace design makes them look while still being so easy and casual since nothing is exact or geometric. I am definitely going to use this lace method more often!

So next time you want to do something impressive without actually having artistic skill, take a page from my book and grab some thrifted lace for a stamp! Leave a comment and let me know what you would use it for!