Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Afternoon project - Z's hoodie

Ze Artiste got a new hoodie today. I picked up this blank hoodie a few weeks ago at a discount store for $3... Which basically makes me fearless with it... We were a little bored this afternoon, so I asked Z if he wanted to do a project, (rather watch me do a project for him)... Yup. Here's what we got.

Christmas spoiler (family, don't read!)

Thought I'd give you an updated peek at my niece/nephew project (which is now done!) for Christmas gifts. These are two of my, I'm off to finish prep for the design director's birthday and then it's all the sister/mom gifts!

ps. just got asked if I'd make these for sale... um, yeah, ok.... if you provide the towel, $15. Otherwise, $20 each (for a basic bath towel). let me know if you're interested. I thought I was done with these for a while and now have 5 more on my to-do list... you can buy them here.

Spinny shipment

How could I not be a teensy bit happy today with these getting dropped off by my seamstress this morning? Are they not the sweetest?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Magazine file

The design director needed something to hold her magazine collection (she's starting early, I know)... And Mommy figured it needed to look like a little girl's file and not so serious... Add a little paper, a huge button, ribbon and Mod Podge... Not so bad. (she loves it)

Embellished bag

Store-bought bag. Hand embellished monogram. Easy-peasy... When I use my favorite fusible webbing. I'm having fun with my new machine and learned a trick last night... If you are sewing something a little sticky and it starts to ruin your needle, stitch through a dryer sheet a couple of inches to clean it off. (I used ones that had already been through the dryer, so as not to cake up my machine. I also took a previously sticky needle and cleaned it with the sailme said sheet.
Nice and clean) I don't know if doing that a Tom would be so hot for the machine, but after 9 names (close to 50 letters) I needed to not change needles every few minutes.

Faux Makeup

(pic not mine)

I just love the site Dollar Store Crafts and when I saw this post, I knew we needed to do this one around here. This mom bought $1 makeup at the dollar store, carved out the actual eyeshadow and poured nail-polish into the slots to have fake makeup for her girls. What a great idea. click here to see instructions. I made some here and Mimi now can't go anywhere without putting on some makeup. It's part of her routine... what does that say about me?

Fancy clips

And you thought just because I've been quiet, that I haven't been busy? (on the contrary! Now that the summer reading romances are over, I'm a busy little bee again...) Last night I finished the ninth niece/nephew Christmas gift (as I showed you in my spoiler a few weeks ago). I also have the Design Director's birthday in 3 days and 2 more niece birthdays within the next 2 weeks... So I've been staying up late, "cramming" as it were, to make gifts and goodies for everyone.
This project is an easy one the kids love to help me with. We are big fans of clips around here... We use them for everything and somewhere along the way, I learned that clothespins are gentle on little hands, cheap and actually fun to use markers on.
The kids have colored these with regular markers, and then we Mod- podge or glue fancy papers to one or two sides. I sand down the edges and then for a flat look, Mod Podge works to finish them, or for a dimensional glossy finish, I just learned about this stuff in the photo, called "glamour glaze" that is easy to use and gives the appearance of a resin bubble on top of the paper, only it's non-toxic and doesn't stink or require mixing.
The end result is an pretty clip which you can usefor chips, apply a magnet to, or use for a myriad of other uses... Only just a little prettier with some fun and quiet memories attached.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I have the coolest friends - Mazie Kane

I think I have been meaning to blog about my cool friend, Amy, for a long time. Not sure why I haven't. No, this isn't the Amy that got married this summer, though I am starting to learn that pretty much every "Amy" I meet is worth knowing. I happen to love a lot of Amys.
Anyhow. THIS Amy is a fellow momma, crafter, friend who I met at church few years ago. She is the one who introduced me to my MOPS group and thus many of my good friends. She is also a really talented crafter with a business I love supporting. I know a lot of you have seen people who make picture frames and other items decorated with cool papers... but lets be honest, don't they often look a little... um... crunchy? Amy's work is flawless. She has a sensibility for the vintage that I love - her frames go perfectly in my house - and she makes the cutest baby items... diaper caddies and cool tins. What I was telling Amy this weekend about her stuff is that it's really the quality of work that sets her stuff apart. When you combine vintage taste, great items in wonderful prints and colors, and then put them together with a tremendous eye for detail - now that's a winning product. And that's what Mazie Kane provides.She recently also let me peek at her new photo albums that she is getting ready to launch. They are SO awesome. Everything is made locally here in LA, you may even see her in some local boutiques... they love her stuff. Go over and visit Mazie Kane's etsy site. Mark it as a favorite. You'll really love her stuff.

Otto the Dog

This is a project I did forever ago, and tonight I am busy working on some more Christmas gifts and a few new projects which I can blog about later, but I wanted to share this easy, sweet little project that I made back in the days WAY before I was sewing...
We love the Todd Parr books about Otto the Dog, and a certain little friend of ours, named TT, was a huge fan of the book we gave her for her first birthday. Apparently, she carried the hard-backed book around with her everywhere the family went. My girlfriend, TT's mom, was mystified that the book was TT's first lovey. So... when we next visited our friends, I brought this little guy to make it easier on momma... All I used was different colored felt, stuffing and embroidery thread. But it made such a happy little impression. I still smile when I see this pic and when I was going through old pics the other night, I reminded myself to post this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The ocean exists

Sometimes it's better to go remember that it's peaceful and beautiful somewhere.

Tea anyone?

I had a really cr&$@y night with 4am tantrums and 4 hours of sleep. This morning, even though it is a beautiful LA morning, I've struggled keeping it together. Until I saw this yard in Santa Monica while out on my errands. I guess someone here likes tea kettles. Or maybe just the thought of tea? Is it a shrine to teatime? Is there some memory that goes with? Is it purely aesthetic? I could make a shrine to coffee mugs. Though this is so insanely tacky, but I have to admit, I love it. It made me smile and u-turn my car just to get a pic. How's that?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Superhero cape and superbaby

Needed some donations for an auction... Here's a new cape and a onesie for a Super baby

Saturday, September 19, 2009

my first collages

I was going through photos tonight on picasa and found a treasure trove of my old collages from my first collage class at the Art Institute of Chicago, back when I had no idea how important collage would become in my life. I believe this lotus one above was my first collage.
I was in a program there where I was headed toward a certificate in Painting and I stumbled into this collage class and also a wonderful class on "the Artists' Sketchbook" by this fabulous teacher that just transformed my way of thinking artistically. I never did finish the program, but I do remember talking to my advisors and having them say to me in true, generous, art school form: "You're just painting with thread and paper now... you've found your medium" I'm so happy for the few years I was able to take classes at the Art Institute. What a wonderful experience that was.

This one is a pretty accurate skyline collage of Chicago, made all with fabric scraps.
I spent so much time on it. I donated it to a charity auction (I can't even remember what it benefitted!) and it sold. Sometimes I wish it hadn't sold and I'd been able to keep it!

This one was really big.
It was very soon after our wedding and I was playing with sewing on paper
and also working with acrylic transfers. I had a lot of fun doing this one.

I made this one over a weekend in Arizona, on hiatus from a very long cold Chicago winter.
The desert had never seemed so beautiful to me before.
I spent the whole (rainy) weekend in the house with good friends -
we called it "The Summit"... and stitched this little memoir.

This was an attempt to unite my collages with my growing bead collection as I was starting my jewelry company. I was a part of a funny group of much older people (and me) that called themselves the "Midwest Collage Society". We met monthly and collaged and shared together. We also would trade all the time and I got the coolest collection of burlap coffee sacks in those trades. I think I still have one somewhere... somewhere.

This one was a weird idea I had to use the tiniest scraps of fabrics from some tossed out samples from work (I worked in the Interior Design business). But when I was getting to see how they all looked stitched together, I thought it looked really lousy. So instead of tossing it, I just embroidered my failure as a joke across the project.

Tifanie's dream

My friend was describing an image she had in her head the other day. Today has been a horribly sick (sinus infection) day around here. I've got an awful headache and no one to help with two sick and cranky kids. So when the design director asked if there was anything we could do artistically, I was almost too tired to oblige. Then I remembered Tif's imagery and thought, "well, maybe something beautiful could come out of today"
Here's to dreams of a city skyline and a sunset full of colorful dreams.... Which is a lot more fun to focus on than today's events.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fancy day

What a day! We borrowed J's parents' convertible and went to a wedding in Malibu in the morning. We got to visit our wedding site where we got married 9 years ago... Then up mulholland drive to the wedding site, and then we took PCH down to go home to change clothes for the Emmys. As we drove up to the Nokia Theatre in dowtown and looked at all the limos, j said "I'd rather get a bounce house than ride in that for an hour" (still, we are glad to not be driving the minivan today. Thanks, D&N!)

Sept 11

I wanted to post something about Sept 11 yesterday, but simply didn't have the words. Sept 11, 2001 was such a dark and scary day for all of us. J and I were living in Chicago, both working downtown ... He was on the el train on the way downtown when the towers fell. I remember
calling him, begging him to go home. My dad was in NYC on a business trip and ended up waiting in a triage unit as a volunteer waiting for survivors that never came. He was pushed to safety by a firefighter as building 7 fell. That was a day most of us will never forget.
I say prayers for the thousands of families affected by the loss of a precious one that day.
Today, driving down PCH in Malibu, I was given an image as we passed my Alma mater - Pepperdine University... It appears there is a flag for each person who lost their life that day. A beautiful, sobering, precious image.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Vanity.... Oh vanity

We are headed to the Emmys tomorrow for J's show ("Fringe"). My week, along with all the stress of the first week of school, ballet and tumbling - along with prep for MOPS kicking off next week, has been peppered with me trying to find a dress and all the garnishes for going to the Emmys. (no small task when you have all of 2 kidless hours for shopping) My main goal has been to find something that makes me look like I didn't have 2 babies. I was excited to find this dress... It made me feel skinny and pre-baby. Things were looking good... Maybe I'd look okay on the red carpet... Until today.

I picked up Mimi from school today and asked her about her various activities... Recess, classtime, new friends... It was fine, until...

Mimi: "Michael said, 'you have a fat stomach'"
Mom: "to you? Oh, honey, he probably said that after you ate and you had a lot of food in your tummy"
Mimi: "no Mom, he said YOU have a fat tummy. Like you are gonna have a baby."

Oh. Great. Thanks, Michael. I really needed that.

Two new friends...

I've been toying with getting a new sewing machine for about a year or so... But I didn't just want to dump mine first. I have had a lower end Pfaff (think of a cheap Mercedes Benz)... It's expensive to tune up, very German and particular, no nonsense, and really strong. But it's plastic. And there are parts of it that frustrate me. Honestly, it's a great machine. I bought it in hopes it would make up for poor sewing skills when I first started. It did.
Now I want more features, metal parts, no need for a name brand - as long as it's well reviewed.... And cheaper maintanance that I don't have to drive an hour to get to. Oh, and I don't have a lot of cash to throw down right now. (or I'd have taken your advice, annakatherine!)
Introduce "jenbp" from craigslist... Who was trying to sell a brand new top of the line Kenmore for half price. ;) my Pfaff is still in the room behind me, we shall decide what to do still... But for now, I'm liking the feel of this one. (there were tons of great experienced reviews online for this one...)

Oh, and the Kenmore's first project? A tote bag for me. Can you believe that after all these totes I have made, none have been for me? Cute, huh?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mimi and mama

Tomorrow Mimi starts kindergarten. Which means today is the last day of random spontaneity for us. (sniff*sniff) here we are in our skirts for a day on the town. (mine is a custom Libby Dibby with one side from "undercover" and one from "espresso bean")

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Simple things

Last night's project was not creative, but I will be bearing happiness from it fr a long time. Our 1922 bungalow does not have a basement or a garage (though we do have a cluttered half-guesthouse filled with Libby Dibby skirts), so the laundry room has been the catchall for everything. It's been an embarressing, dangerous room. Our kids are not big "explorers", so it wasn't hugely motivating to get everything locked up. However, our home study requires that we lock up everything (including laundry detergent), so it's been a weird thing to try and wrap our heads around. A few weeks ago, J was driving through our urban neighborhood and saw some high school lockers for sale by the side of the road. The people sold and delivered them to our place for $40, we painted them bright red (of course) - and now all of our chemicals, tools and random junk is safely under lock and key and my laundry room is no longer an embarressment!
We are also thinking of getting a stackable washer/dryer (please, please!) to maximize more space, though i'm thinking red may be a little too much to ask for.

Friday, September 4, 2009

More hot houses

Object: stay still in the heat (88 degrees indoors today)
Proect: cutting linoleum and eraser stamps
Unexpected part: other than stabbing myself numerous times (bandaid festival), finding that most of our stamp pads have dried out due to the heat.

Please, will someone turn off this heat?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hot houses

It's still hot. Ze artiste is kinda sick so we are stuck in the house trying to move as little as possible. Today we've gardened, watched movies, practiced whistling and snapping fingers. (Oh, and Z keeps telling me to look at him because he is convinced that he's growing taller each minute.) We've colored clothespins with markers (hey, it's a easy, busy task) and now we've decorated chipboard houses with paper. I've been meaning to play with these houses for a few months, but today became the day as I tried to find anything to keep us calm and interested. Ze Artiste and the Design Director each made one (hers - of course is pink and glittery, and his - of course - is quite abstract). Momma's look pretty traditional, but they definitely reflect my busy happy taste. I think they'd look good in a frame  together, as a series.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Baby onesie love

I got this "thank you note" today for one of the onesies I made and sent out the other day to a friend for her new baby, Mia. Yay! Welcome baby Mia... I'm glad you love the fairy onesie!!!



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