Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Die is Cast (or Soldered. Beveled… whatever)

Though my blog may appear vacant for a time most lengthy, I assure you, gentle reader, my time was spent, nay invested well.

After numerous sleepless nights and pots of coffee, the decision has been made (for better or worse) that my focus should now lie solely in jewelry, as I find it to be a pleasant mix of challenging and rewarding most intoxicating. The product also sparkles, so what’s not to like?

I recently attended a class held by Don Norris in which light was cast upon many of the shadowy recesses of my chosen craft.
-I learned an entirely new way of soldering that leaves my pieces less…charred.
-Bezels no longer further my descent into insanity.
-My cabochons no longer require a scrap yard worth of metal to secure.
-I can now make pieces more quickly and with greater confidence.
-My bands are now more effectively crafted, making elaborate designs more of a possibility.
…Well you get the picture. The class was insightful and worth the investment.
Directly after the aforementioned tutelage I made these prototypes:

Pardon the dog hair.

I have more silver on order, so expect more pieces to come from Lime and Aqua. It’s good to be back, readers.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Trying My Hand at Felt Toys

Well, I gave in and tried making a felt toy. I loved it! It was so fun! On Tuesday night I went over to hang out with Lori of We cut out some felt birds to give to a friend's little girl for her birthday.

This little guy came from my hard work. Such a fun little peacock puppet. Can't wait to hear what she names him! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

6 Purse Project Warmup

These two purses were created strictly for my own use. They're pretty simple, but that's the way I like it. :) The grey fabric was a 2 dollar per yard piece I bought on a whim. I don't think I'll be using that fabric to send to anyone but myself. It frays horribly.

The bag on the left is a massive bag (27 inches wide), created to carry swag that I got from the HOW Design Conference this last week. The conference was fantastic! I'm creatively recharged and raring to finish my 6 bag project. :)

The bag on the right was created as a daily walking around bag. It's about 15 inches wide & perfect to carry around books and my daily items. :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Project! & Bonus unfinished studio pic!

Well, those patterns that I'm drafting have turned into an all out project. From now on, I'll refer to them as the 6 purse project. I've got some lovely beta testers who I'll be shipping the bags off to once they're complete. The lovely fabric in the picture above is what I'll be using for the bags.

The way I'll be doing the beta testing is: Once I get the bags finished I'll send them off to each of my testers. I'll ask them to wear the bag for a week or two if they don't find it completely repulsive from the start. Once they're done wearing it, I'll ask them to send me the answers to a questionnaire that I'm putting together. It'll have questions like, "How did the bag hold up?", "Was the size of the bag practical for it's use?" and so on and so forth.

I'm pretty excited about this project. I go shopping for final notions and start cutting out pieces this weekend.

Also! I have a picture of my messy, unfinished studio. Here you can see my paint colors. I'll be getting curtains some time & hanging up a ton of useful shelving on the blue wall. My most exciting plan is that I'll eventually paint my lime and aqua logo right smack dab in the middle of the green wall. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Drafting Patterns

Just to let you guys know, I'm in the process of drafting a few patterns for me to eventually start my etsy shop. I'm loving my new studio so much. There's just so much room to craft! I've got to put together some curtains & shelving, but it's well on its way. :)

Last night I put together a cute little tote to send off to my four year old beta tester for durability testing. :) It's in the general shape of the bags I'll be making & it has the same stitch setting that I'll use. I just want to make sure it holds up to some heavy duty play time. :) I didn't include the fancy pockets or detailing that I will when I make these for actual profit. It's strictly for testing. I'll post pics of it this evening some time.

*edit* I got so excited about giving the bag to my little beta tester that I completely forgot about the pics. Sorry!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm Back-ish

It has been almost a year since I posted! Ridiculous! I'm terribly sorry for that. It won't happen again, I promise! A lot as happened in the last year. I've kind of been slacking in the craft department. But I'm back!

In the last month, we bought a house and moved in! Well, the moving in part is slowly happening. It's a cute little brand new house on a quaint little street. We have a yard for the pups, but at the moment it's a big pit of dirt.

Anyway, this is the current state of my craft studio:

I'm picking paint colors and furniture now, you can bet the studio will be a nice shade of grassy green and cool soothing aqua. I wouldn't have anything else. I'm thinking I'll throw in some sunny yellow to make me happy every time I'm in there.

Oh! On the craft front, I've been collaborating with a new friend who does play felt food. Her felt vegetables and food are adorable! She's got such a great style. You can check her out at We'll be doing some crossovers on both ends. She's going to create some awesome felt accessories & I'll be helping with some cute bags and baskets for her fruit. I'm so excited!

Last but not least: I'm getting published! If you guys remember my Vintage Tie Coffee Cozy, it'll be in a 2010 Page-A-Day sewing calendar by Accord Publishing. You should be able to purchase it later this summer. I'll let you know when and where. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Crafty Secret

I realized today when I was searching for the third time for my can of Krylon matte finish spray, that I needed to get this out into internet land for the good of all crafters. Please, go immediately to your crafty outlet, big box crafty store, or and buy yourself a can of this. It will make all of your painting projects complete. Anything that has the potential to be sticky/tacky will benefit from this stuff. You just spray a quick burst and it will instantly protect your finish from fingerprints and sticking to other surfaces. It dries super quick. We even use it at work to tone down the glossyness on some plotter prints.

So this is my crafty secret for now. Please, heed my advice, you won't be sorry. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fabric Printing/Stenciling Tutorial

This may just be a long post, but hear me out! I have been thinking a lot about fabric printing as of late. I want to post a quick tutorial on stenciling using the freezer paper method.

Currently I'm making a couple of place mats for my messy puppies. They both eat wet food, and tend to get it ALL OVER. I decided that I needed to put their names on the mats, so I'm definitely using the freezer paper method of stenciling.

Here's how:

1. Gather your supplies. You'll need:

Freezer Paper
a nice pair of scissors
an xacto knife (or detail cutting method of your choice)
a computer & printer (or template of some sort)
Textile medium & Acrylic paint (or fabric paint of choice)
a cutting mat (or safe place to do your detail cutting)
an iron & ironing board
fabric of your choice

2. Find the appropriate template. Whatever you want to put on your fabric, you'll need something to stencil. Once you find the template, transfer it on to the paper side of an appropriate size sheet of freezer paper. Handy Tip: To get really clean stencils, cut your freezer paper into 8.5" by 11" sheets and feed them into your printer to print out the design. Make sure you know which side you're printing on (don't print on the shiny side). For my design, I'm using the names of my puppies.

3. Cut out the stencil. Make absolutely sure you're cutting smoothly and right at the edge of your design. Do not cut into any open parts of your letters. It's critical that you be very aware of what you're cutting at this point. We're making a stencil, so you're cutting out the meaty part of the design. I'm cutting out the actual letters. At this point, you may be able to save the innards and use them in a reversed out design later.

4. Iron your design onto your chosen bit of fabric. At this point, your iron should be pretty warm, but not too hot. (We're melting a very thin layer of wax, so it doesn't take much.) Also, be sure that you do NOT use the steam setting of your iron. This will make the wax not stick, and will make all of that detailed cutting useless. Also, iron on the main bit of paper first, then re-add all of the details such as the insides of "o"s and "a"s and yeah, you get the picture.

5. Now it's time for the fun part. It's time to paint! Mix your textile medium according to the specific directions, or get your fabric paint out. Make sure it's nice and full bodied, you do NOT want a runny paint. The fabric will soak it up, and yet again, ruin all that detailed cutting you just did. Ask me how I know... lol. To correctly paint onto your fabric, take a nice flat ended brush, and dab the paint in an up and down motion onto your fabric. Be careful not to saturate your brush too much or it'll get way too wet and might soak into the fabric as well. After you've completed painting, let the piece dry according to your paint/medium's directions. I usually get antsy and pull the paper off before it's time. Believe me, it's a gamble if you do. I actually got red paint on the other bits of fabric, but since it's for the doggies, I'm sort of okay with it. If you do, just be careful.

6. Here's the finished fabric!

My textile medium says wait 7 days. So it'll be about a week before you guys get to see what these become. I'm very excited to see this project through completion. I'm getting a little antsy to finish a sewing project with my new machine. I've got a couple in the works and a couple more in my head.

Another option for fabric printing that is VERY exciting (especially for a graphic designer such as myself) is the new site called Spoonflower. We've all said at one time, "If only I could just print my own fabric!". Well, now you can! I just got my invitation to the beta, and I'm putting together some designs in my head. You should too! (I recieved my invitation within the week.) Don't worry, if you don't know the ins and outs of patterns, Spoonflower offers tutorials for pattern making. Visit them at! :)

Edit: Here's a pic of some onesies that I stenciled with this method in Aug of 06. If you look at the top left one, it says "Frog Prince". The prince part is what happens when you use a very runny paint. It gets super messy and makes the piece almost useless. The bottom image was my fav of that batch. The little boy that was born around that time was going to be a leo, so this is the design I came up with.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My pottery may be a no go...

3 Stoneware Bottles-Matte White by Sara Paloma

Another potter who's work is incredibly fabulous would be Sara Paloma. Her grasp of form is amazing. She has very refined taste, and might I add, spectacular photography skills. :) If you get a second, definitely check out her work. It's beautiful! :)

On my pottery front, it may just be a no go. Sadly... When I got out there to retrieve the kiln, I found it to be in okay shape. But! They had about 5000 ceramic molds that were included with the kiln. (An all or nothing kind of deal) So! I have absolutely no where to store that many molds. Unfortunately I had to pass it by.

I'm still holding out hope that one day I'll be the proud owner of a ceramic kiln.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pottery love

Sweet Pea in Olive Green by Kim Westad

Isn't it beautiful? One day when I grow up I want to be as talented as the artist who created this. Kim Westad's etsy shop is full of beautiful and incredibly unique pottery. The colors she uses are usually very bright and vibrant and she pairs these with simplistic, elegant forms. They look like they're so easy, but I know they aren't.

Speaking of pottery! Today I was able to secure a ceramic kiln. I'll be picking it up after work. I got it for the red hot price of FREE. :) Viva la Craigslist!! Expect pottery on this blog. Sometime... if I can figure it out, without exploding things. I'm off to venture into the wild world of pottery! :) Wish me luck!