Thursday, December 31, 2009

Music I'm digging right now

I have been a fan of the Icelandic band " Sigor Ros" for a few years now. In their documentary "Heima" (the best documentary I have ever seen by they way!!) they feature a quartet of artist called " Amiina". Four Icelandic girls that make the most beautiful music with strings, bells, and a saw, yes I said a saw. If you have never heard a saw played before it is like nothing you have ever heard. You may think it is a violin at first, but once you know you can hear the distinction, absolutely beautiful. The music is so soothing and relaxing. It helps me to relax.
Check them out as well as "Sigor Ros."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vintage Finds

I am a collector of all things vintage. I love things that tell a story. I have a bit of a obsession with old phones and old typewriters. I like things with numbers and dials. I shop at thriftstores, garage sales, and flea markets. I have to say my best bet is the thriftstore. Usually they don't want something that is rusty or old. A recent find of my was the old toy cash register I found at a flea market. It cost me just $12. I thought that was a find. Once again keys and buttons. My house is filled with rusty old adding machines, childrens typwriters, cash register, dial phones, and old children's toys. I love going to a garage sale to find a box of old toys thrown about that someone just wants to get rid of because they are taking up space. I imagine the shelf or table that they would perfectly accent. I have three little ones so old things with buttons are very appealing. I do let them fiddle with the buttons. They were onced played with or used but have since been discarded and unneeded as technology has progressed. As you can imagine I love shows like "Antiques Roadshow" and of recent "Pawn Stars." I love seeing where the person found something or how it was passed down. I always think though, "Don't get rid of it, it is a piece of history." But if I found an old vase I wasn't attached to and it was worth 20 grand, I may reconsider. I have a little toy that sits next to me as I write that many people may wonder why I keep. It is a little girl made of plastic with a broken off hand. But when you flip her over and take a peak you can see the metal mechanism that moves her arms, legs, and makes her eyes blink all at the same time. I can't get over how she works, even if she is missing a hand. The way she was crafted is much more fascinating.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Christmas Gift

My very thoughtful husband surprised me with "My Double" by Dritz . He loves to add to my hobby. Well various hobbies. But I do love to sew. I love to make my own shirts and customize them to my size, the exact material I want to use, and make it my own. I love how you can change the frame to your size. So cool. I have a shirt that I have pinned to my bulletin board, its McCalls 5929. I have a thing for ruffles and when I found this pattern this year I knew that this would be my next to make. I have been busy this winter but I planning on getting to work on this one shortly. Hancock Fabric has some killer after Christmas sales this week which I plan on hitting up today. I love to stock up for the future. It definitly pays off. I know the types of fabrics I like to sew with as I have matured in my sewing skills so I head for those sales quickly. I love plaids. I always have, and am even more excited since they have become more popular recently. I love to make skirts but I have learned since I have three children that I very rarely wear skirts so I have turned to make shirts, which I find much more satisfying. The shirt is the basic staple of your outfits, and when you make to your exact specifications, it is all the more gratifying.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Sorry my fellow crafters I have been majorly slacking on my blog. Christmas has called and I have gingerbread houses to make, stockings to sew, and well everyday mommy life calls. I made my first gingerbread house and it was so much fun. It was a couple of day process. Baking, glueing, and then, the best part decorating, and eat tons of candy. The kids would glue a piece, eat a piece. Our gingerbread house is vegan as well so I make it from scratch. I am not vegan regularly but my daughter has many allergies so we have to cater to her allergies. No nuts, dairy, or eggs. You would think this would be hard to do, but not really, and the icing is super delicious. I mix "Earth's Balance" butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and soymilk, and it turns out super delicious like a butter cream. "Try it, you'll like it" (yo gabba gabba quote) I didn't realize that my stockings would be so successful in my shop. It started with my Lab Rats Team challenge and it took off from there. Thank you lab rats. They were alot of fun to make though. In the process I pulled a muscle in my neck , but no pain, no gain. I always order craft books for Christmas and I got mine in the mail last week. So excited. The first book is "Patchwork Style", by Suzoko Koseki. The photos are just beautiful. I want to start working on a quilt as soon as I look at this. The colors are very inspiring. The second book I am so excited about is " Carefree Clothes For Girls," by Junko Okawa. The clothing really makes you think outside the box when making clothes for little girls. Having two of my own, I have made shirts and skirts for them in the past, and they seem to always be missing something, and I haven't quite got it. Either they end up looking very homely and too handmade, or quite boring. I haven't made them clothes in a little while. I usually have much success when making my own somehow, and really love to. Carefree clothes is getting my excited to start sewing for the girls more. I was recently asked to create a piece of artwork for a art center to raise money for their programs. I was quite honored and decided that I would create a embroidery piece. With my neck out this has been quite a feet, and I am not nearly done, but I have until January 20th. I created a piece that will be a part of me. I have put three childeren in it to represent my family. I will take pictures as the process goes forth and the end result. I have been amping up my embroidery techniques and trying to get that darn french knot successfully. I think I got it. It wants to pull through the fabric, ugh! I want to do beautiful flowers and streams and a pretty tree. Well describing it won't do any good until it's completed. I must work on it. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Front Page Feature

I found out some exciting news this evening that I was featured on the front page of Etsy. I was very honored. I have had so much fun making these little forest friend stockings. I worked very hard all weekend to get them made in time for the coming holiday season. I am working on some new purse designs. I plan on working over the Thanksgiving break. I had talked about in an earlier post my awesome metal zippers I recently bought. Okay, the colors or so fun and funky. Bright reds, yellows, and blues. I can't wait to design some handb%ags using these. I have to save some for myself as well, I don't know if I will ever find zippers in these colors again. I am anticipating Hancock fabrics "Jingle Bell" sale that starts next Wednesday. They will be having zippers, buttons, and other such notions 50%. These are the sales that I stock up on all my notions. You really have to get the dates straight for Hancock. They start and stop sales in the middle of the week. They now have available on their site their store add. It makes it so much easier to mark my calendar for the sales. I am serious too, I do mark my calendar, otherwise I will totally forget, and not get my good deals. I hate paying full price for these things. That way I can make my prices not so expensive for my items. I need to start cranking out Christmas gifts her soon. I have such a dilemma with producing items for my shop, and producing items for Christmas gifts. I love to make handmade gifts. I just have to split up my time in the evening. It is fun to sort through my fabric and decide which colors and fabrics suite my family and friends. I love to make gifts so much more personal rather than buying a gift that was mass produced.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lab Rats Trunk Show

As being a member of Etsy, I am also part of a Etsy team. We promote each others shops, love to attend labs, and love to create and sell on etsy. Today we are having a trunk show on Etsy. You will find all kinds of wonderful gifts for so many different types of people. Not to mention all the wonderful sales that we will be offering as well. Please check it out, here is the link.
Looking for some great holiday gifts, along with some holiday sales?
Come to the Etsy Virtual Labs Monday, November 23 at 7pm (EST)
Art, jewelry, baby items, paper goods, crochet, vintage and so much more!
Everyone is welcome!
Look for the Gallery, in black.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Crafty Craftiness

I have been getting in the holiday spirit this weekend crafting up all kinds of stockings. I love little forest creatures. What most would call rodents (and technically they are) I think are cute and adorable. I love the idea of little raccoons, skunks , and foxes kissing under mistletoe. I have had alot of fun working on these. I sold my first fox stocking, so I made another one in a citreen color for a change. I just ordered some metal zippers online the other day, and I am so excited to use these for my change purses here soon. You just can't find metal zipper's anymore, and I got 40 zippers for 10 dollars. Not too shabby considering they are almost 2 dollars each at the fabric stores . The colors are very vintage as well. It is amazing that I'm getting giddy about zippers. But crafting is a part of my life. Zippers and all. I plan on getting out my Christmas decor this week. I must climb in the deepest part of my closet. I anticipate boxes falling on my head, the smashed toe and or finger, well chaos. Nothing like the holiday spirit. Really though, I do love the holidays. I absolutely love vintage Christmas decorations. I usually search the thriftstores around this time to find some vintage goodies. Oh yes, I have had this Japanese handbag book for awhile now, and I find much inspiration from this book, considering I don't speak Japanese. I plan on making the bird change purses as gifts this year for the girls in the family. The pictures are such an inspiration. Oh yes I found this other book that I must have "Patchwork Style." This book is Japanese , but is translated in English. The projects have a Scandinavian flare which is seen through the colors in the pictures. From sewing for a few years now, I can look at alot of the diagrams and figure things out, but reading it , well, would make it quite easy to understand. If you have not had much experience with Japanese craft books, the photography alone will get you intrigued. They make sewing so inspiring. Alot of these books you may not be able to find her in the states , unless you live close to a store called Kinokuniya. I do not live close to them, but I call their bookstore and order on the phone. They are so extremely helpful. I have had them order from Japan, books that they didn't have in the store, and their international shipping is very cheap. They can order anything. I love this store.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crafting throughout the ages

I love finding old craft books at the thriftstores that show the craft of the time. You find macrame, bulky knits, bright colors and felt throughout the 60's and 70's. The 50's brought woodburning kits, paint by number sets (which I still love), key chain making kits .Quilting, embroidery, knitting, and rugg making, are found in the 20's. I find myself very much interested in "Little House on the Praire" times. Last year a came across a book called "The Praire Girl's Guide to Life," by author Jennifer Worick. The book takes you back in time to discover crafts prairie girls were doing at the time and detailed instructions on how to recreate these items. The book even gives recipes, how to do dances of the time, and some history behind the techniques they used. I love this book! I have been a fan of Jane Austen's books for a few years now. I recently was introduced to a book called "Jane Austens Sewing Box," by Jennifer Forest. I got all excited inside! Crafts from the 18th century. It incorporates history, talk of her literature, and don't forget the crafts (18 to be exact). This book is definitly on my Christmas wishlist. I would love to learn crafts that have been forgotten over the ages. I need to get started on my Christmas gifts to friends and family here soon. I have been working on my shop lately. Speaking of the holidays, I usually make a different themed stocking for my kids each year. They request the theme and I usually embroider them. I love to use fleece. It is a very forgiving fabric and is so fun to work with. I just created one for my etsy team winter theme. I will share photos when I get a chance to take pics. I use pinking shears for the edges so that I can sew up the sides in a jiffy, and it really adds a quick and easy touch. Best Regards...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All the items you will need to craft your gift decorations

The items you will need to make your holly and berry decorations for gifts are:
Green felt
Red yarn
Clover pom-pom maker (instructions as needed)
A embroidery needle with a decent size eye
Your wonderful gift to give

Put a cut template on the green felt to cut

I just used a random piece of paper to make a template. Then I carefully cut around the template on green felt.

Make three pom-poms with the clover pom pom maker with red yarn

Follow your pom-pom instructions. When you tie a knot around the middle of your pom-pom, be sure to leave a longer string so that you can easily attach your berries to the holly leaves and your gift.

Cut a small slit in the holly leaf

Pom-Poms and holly leaves

These are the items you will now attach to each other.

The yarn can easily be pushed through the felt with the eye of the needle.

I used an embroidery needle eye to push through the slit in the leaves.

This is how the poms look when attached to the holly

Tie the yarn to the item

Guesstemate how much yarn you might need to wrap like a package around you item. Then, knot in the middle.

The End Product

The End Product
Originally uploaded by woundupladybug
Now your can knot the three strands of yarn that come from the yarn berries to the yarn you tied around your item. All done! Now your ready to send to friends and family.

Ready to Mail

Ready to Mail
Originally uploaded by woundupladybug

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ideas for the holidays

I recently was reading a post by fellow blogger Danielle and she has been working on a pom pom wreath since 2007. Well I'm sure not the whole time, but, I was excited to see this! She is amazing with colors so her's is super cute. I want to translate the pom poms to maybe a Holly and Berry wreath. Last year I made pom-pom garland with different bright colors. It was fun to make. The clover pom- pom makers are a must. We have the store Hobby Lobby here and I always check their sales for items like these. I had so much fun last year and I can wait to make some more this year. I plan on creating some cute holiday tags for my etsy items when they are sent out on the holidays with the same holly and berry theme. I have been eying this rug for my kids for awile. I first saw the idea on Grosgrain Fabulous other blog post. I don't know how to hook a rug, but I have a feeling this might be something I will learn next. These looks so fun and easy and inventive to make. I could design so many different types of buildings and ideas! I'm getting so excited! I need to read up more to get an idea of what I would need to put into this, but it sure sounds fun! Well have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Costumes are done!

I finished the cupcake costumes while making dinner. We have a cupcake with a cherry on top, and a cupcake with a rasberry on top.. I made these of felt so they stay nice and stiff. These are not my original idea, I saw these in the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue and just had to make them. I did the fruits different then what they had. I love making three dimensional felt objects. Last year for Christmas I made hair accessories for the girls. I have them on my flickr. I did a hairdryer, hair curler, and compact. The fruits were so fun to make. I made the costumes a little loose around the neck so that they wouldn't be too tight with coats on. The felt will be nice and warm though. I did the cupcake holders in cream. I liked the look of the cream, because I usually used cream colored papers (felt). The girls look so funny waddling around the house as cupcakes. My son had other ideas of what he wanted to be. So I wasn't sure I could recreate it as well. So he found his at the store. He loves it. I am so relieved to have these done, so that I have the rest of the week to tweek anything I might need to . Have a wonderful day!

Things that I have been doing

Well I have been presently trying to finish halloween costumes. I was under the weather all weekend so the thought of staring at anything or sitting at a machine was out of the question. All I have left to do is make the head part to my littlest costume and complete. They are so funny looking as little cupcakes waddling around. I have been brain storming new ideas for my shop lately. I just need to get on the ball. Too many things in my head, such little time. I usually listen to pandora when I sew and I came across a band called "The Blow". They have a electronic feel to the music and the lead singer, a female has a very good voice. It is the type of music that gets you going and you want to sing along. Seriously check out my link. So good. My husband and I got a date for the first time in awhile. We had a nice quiet dinner, and then went to see the blockbuster hit " Paranormal." So freaky. I was squeezing my husbands arm the whole time. I have always had a major fear of the paranormal. As a child I saw the movie " Poltergeist" way too young. I would pray at night that I would never see a ghost. Great one to see at the theater, very fun.. Oh, a great one to rent, " Brother's Bloom." It has a full cast Adrienne Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel Weisz. Such a good movie. On another note I keep wanting to try so many other crafts lately, but they do take awhile to learn. I have a desire right now to do metal working. I would love to learn how to hand engrave jewelry pieces with pictures and things. It looks like so much fun. As of right now I have been reading up on screen printing. My husband bought me a screen printing kit a few years ago, but until now have I had much time to fiddle with it. I have been reading the instructions over and over, now I just have to get some acetate and a 150 watt bulb and I am on my way. Well, first I need to figure out what I want to print. I need to brain storm. "Must finish halloween costume," zombie voice.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Thriftstore Jackpot

Thriftstore Jackpot
Originally uploaded by woundupladybug
I was so excited to find these vintage McCall's craft magazines for 50 cents each at the thriftstore. I had drooled over flickr member, doe-c-does wonderful collection, and dreamed of finding these myself. Alas, I did and I can't wait to stare at these for hours. I will have to share if I end up making some vintage inspired gifts out of these. They are in such wonderful condition. I love to collect vintage of any kind. I have drawers of old vintage patterns which I need to share. I have various other magazines that I have found. I loved how they made so many wonderful magazines with such in depth projects. The colors are so fun to look at. The vintage knitting magazine I found from 1958 has the best poses for the models. Whomever owned these must have kept them in a box because they are in great condition. I plan on putting the knitting one in my shop because I know their are fellow crafters who might enjoy this more than I might, not being a knitter quite yet. Well I must go!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Costume Making

Wow! Fall has finally arrived with pumpkins, spooky halloween decorations, costumes, candy, bonfires. I have been in the process of costume making. Cupcakes are the order this year. My daughter is so petite that I have to keep modifying my original pattern. I thought I was completed but now need to do some tweeking. It has been fun making and I plan on posting pictures as soon as its not falling off her shoulders. I decided to use felt so that it would give a bulkier stiffness and warmth for the cool fall night. I have been very much inspired by the pottery barn kids catalogue. I notice they go for a homeade look which I love being a crafter, but not so much the cost of each item. I can make a costume for a about five dollars or maybe less. I recently was looking at costumes at retail stores and was blown away at how much they were charging! Forty to Fifty dollars for a costume that looks like it would rip the first time a kid falls (which happens quite often). No way! I will make my own, and have fun doing so. Now my son is not so interested in mommy making his, but we did find a better alternative. Star Wars is always the one he wants but forty-five dollars wasn't going to cut it, so we looked in the toy aisles and much to our excitement you could buy various other superhero costumes for play for only ten dollars! Thats more like it, and the quality was even better. With three little one's forty dollars each for halloween just isn't an option. So we make it work, and make sure everyone is satisfied, and they usually are. Okay if you haven't checked out Grosgrain Fabulous this week, do so. She has made a queen of hearts costume for her daughter and it is simply amazing. And they best part is, is that you have a chance to win it. She really went all out, amazing sewing skills and design. She made it without a pattern as well. I hope to make a pdf of how I made my daughters costume if I can get that together in time for halloween. I made fruit to go on the top so I definitly want to share how easy it is to make. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Making Clothes

I love to sew my own clothes. I have a coat pattern waiting for me that I need to start as the cold weather creeps up . I finished a coat over the summer that just needs buttons. I love creating it is like one big puzzle. Each little piece makes this wonderful thing that you created. Now coats do take some time due to lining but it is well worth it. I find that summer shirt are the easiest because you dont' have to hassle with the sleeves. I am anticipating one day getting a serger so the seams have much more finished look. I am planning my daughters halloween costumes as of right now. She wants to be a cupcake and I hope that I can make it come together. I am so excited for this task. I must begin soon. It will be here before I know it. Well off to a Virtual Lab.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Etsy Showcase Today!

I have an Etsy Showcase today! I do hope that it might spur some interest in my clutches and purses. I do so enjoy making them and using various vintage fabrics. I have been working on some other projects I hope to put in the shop soon , but I have yet to reveal. I need to do some tweeking. Let's just say, they have a story to tell. I have so much fun coming up with ideas for new items. These items in particular I am excited about just to see what people think. I am working on a new purse right now that I am using some beautiful vintage upholstry. It has so many colors of fall in it. I am taking my time in designing it. It is a new style that I have designed. With my son's homeschooling school year on the go , I am working a little bit slower. I hope I can pick up the pace with the holidays. It is tricky because I have to make time for home-ade halloween costumes and my gifts for my family and friends. I love making things rather than going to the malls and finding something that the quality is so mass produced it doesn't last very long. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Learning the Ropes

I have been a sewer for about seven years now and I absolutely love it! I love to make my own clothing, make stuffed figures, and handbags. But it is oh so much fun to embellish these sewing projects. I have freezer papered in the past but since I have started my etsy shop I have rediscovered the fun. The lines come out so crisp but do choose your materials wisely. A material that is pourous such as nylon or linen (my mistake) does leave gaps in the paint. It doesn't looked horrible, it does give a rugged look which can look cool. I have a screen printing kit which I do want to make use of but it is a bit more time consuming. I love to inter-mix the embellishing. Such as paint with embroidering. I did this with one of my newest items in the shop and it gives it more of a stand out feel. I haven't attempted it yet with paint and cross stitch, maybe I will attempt it soon. On the subject of etsy, I need to make my first sale. I have read before that it takes awhile. I am certainly having fun making things. I have to create. I come up with new ideas everyday. When I'm falling asleep stuff pops into my head. I have alot up my sleeves. Now if only there were more hours in the day. I spend my day with my three little ones. My oldest is six and I homeschool him each day so that takes about three hours or less. Then I have a three year old and an almost one year old. I get to stay at home which is so nice,so in those bits where they entertain themselves, I might sneek over to the sewing machine and get a few stitches done. But, the majority of my work is done after eight o'clock. That is when I can concentrate and get my best work done. I usually work for a couple of hours on and off. I have to take breaks to watch a show or eat snacks with my wonderful husband. There really is a balance. I do really relieve alot of stress when I create. I feel productive in a crafty way. Well I have to attend to my day!