Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fun Parcels

~Burger and I have had a fun week with our snail mail!
Ever since I picked up a VHS copy of Digimon ,at a neighborhood yard sale, Burger has been quite taken with the character Greymon.
...Of course you cannot by these toys anymore at your regular stop and shop so we had to shop virtually which is often a little cheaper and more fun cause you get a little surprise in your mail box!.

~I did some virtual shopping myself at this talented lady's sweet etsy shop , Fawa shop.
I fell in love with the little pomegranate stamp and had to order right away! Not only was the stamp super sweet (not to mention fast shipping) she also sent me two little extra surprises.
Her dolls are also quite lovely ...maybe next time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Adventures in Potato Printing

~Potato Prints are super fun and super easy. They are really almost self explanatory, and there are several ways to attack your potato. I did 3 potato print sessions in the last few weeks and used four different tutorials loosely. Let me admit here that I had never done potato printing or any other vegetable printing before this, even though I did study printmaking for FOUR years. So after a little bit of humiliation( my hubby laughed at me )I decide to dive into the world of potato printing, with Burger in tow.

~Our first printing session( and my first acquaintance with this printing technique) was inspired by Lotta Jansdotter's book, Lotta Prints .
However I did the whole process from memory because I had to return the book (to the library) before we tackled the project. But I remember her saying to keep it simple. Which many times I find hard to do.

~We also used The Colossal Book of Crafts (which is awesome and also a library book) as a reference. ...I love how this book is written directly to the crafty child, and it has some terrific project ideas. What a great birthday gift this would make for the 5-12 year old crafter .
~Next I turned to Martha. I found her suggestion to use cookie cutters very clean, fast and effective... Although I decided to do a variation that only cuts away part of the potato because I thought the potato ends fit nicely into littler paws.
~During my 3rd (adult only) printing session I used these tiny food cutters I had stashed away as another variation on Martha's cookie cutter method. . What a joy! I received these as a Christmas gift last year. I was not sure I would ever really use them at the time, even as I ogled over their cuteness. Now I cannot wait to use them again. Do not even ask why I have not used them to cut tiny PB &J's .... shame,shame on you mommy.

~The other printing tutorial I looked at was First Palette.
This one is great for helping with ideas and tips for the little ones.

*My tips for potato printing*

I used all different sorts of printing mediums and surfaces.

1.For the little ones I would use any water based paint; brushed on or dipped in a stamping manner works well. Or if they like to play with the brayer, by all means play. But it is not a must have.
2.Again for the kids I recommend printing on large cheap paper like butcher paper or opened paper bags. Also with my 2 year old I found that concentrating on the process made this craft time most enjoyable. We just laid out a big Ole' piece of paper and experimented with all sorts of marks. Now we can wrap gifts in that paper or use it in collages. ...During our second printing he moved on to printing with all kinds of things , a rock a bottle cap. He just made that creative leap all by himself.

3. If working with kids that will not be cutting the potatoes, try and cut at least a few before hand so they will have something to work with from the get go.

4. I recommend the cookie cutter method for your first few just( even if it is just you) to get you up and running. Once I had Burger printing I cut a few requests, like the elephant and the not so successful lion. However cutting potato images can be an experience in abstract expressionism so have fun !

5. Get freaky with your cutting tools. Cutting tools I used were knives, peelers,forks, wood carving tools, really here you can try anything. This is where you and older kids can really have some fun experimenting with mark making
6. If this is a project for yourself I suggest using a brayer and water based printing ink.( OK so that is burger with the brayer; but it was the only pic I had of the brayer)...Printing with the brayer is smoother and cleaner and you can set the ink with heat, if you are printing on fabric.
7. Print and Have FUN!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Two New Custom Aprons made with love

~I recently finished 2 new custom aprons. The first was for one of my dearest friends. I really loved making this apron because I was able to think of it as something I was making for myself.
~She had spied this butterfly fabric in another apron and said she wanted something with that fabric. She wanted a full apron on account of her having a bouncy slobbery baby and a four year old.
~This apron is destined for some heavy duty domesticity.
~Since I have been drooling over nasturtiums all summer.I decide to include them ~It is not just the beautiful tasty little horn shaped flowers that I love but their little disk shape leaves. They are such lovely , delicate plants.... When I look at them I get that excited twinkle inside; when something beautiful sparks you in just the right way. I made a skirt (no photo) a few weeks back that had a single nasturtium on it with two little leaves and I was pleased as pie with the out come.

~I had done a group of bell type flowers from a single quilt scrap on this earlier apron pocket.
...and I was itching to do something similar again. So I sort of combined the two ideas for the bib work on this apron.
~I use little bell~ish shape cut from quilt scraps for the flowers.
~ I laid out my entire design first then worked from the bottom layers up . My friend had mentioned she really liked my chic aprons, so I put one on the panel pocket .
~I was able to use so many tiny scraps that I had been saving just for a special heart felt project.
... I also finally used this sweet vintage button I have been hanging onto for at least a year.~ These blue rhinestone buttons I picked up a yard sale a few weeks back.
~I also made her a matching set of napkins. ...I am really into these napkin set right now. I make them in sets of 4 with scrap fabric from the apron then make a snap tie to hold them together.

~The second custom apron is for a repeat client who wanted a fourth apron from me. The pattern is the same as the first 3 . All she said was she wanted it to be "old fashioned " looking. I really loved this parameter. I also knew she does not really do yellow so that is what I worked with. Most of the fabric in this apron is recycled. The skirt was a beautiful vintage linen table cloth. ~On the pocket is a small embroidered doily I picked up at a yard sale I really love this little piece and when I saw it I new exactly what I was going to use it on. ~The prissy little lady cat on the bib was also vintage scrap that I had been saving for the perfect piece.~The "belt" is from the edge of a beautiful pink rose sheet .
~The blue shadow foliage fabric that I made the ties from is new.~ I bought the buttons new when I first started designing the apron. Pink roses ; very old fashioned in my book.~ I also made a matching napkin set for this client . I made the napkin's smaller ; Tea time napkins? I liked the idea of the smaller napkin but I am not sure about it's reality. ~I am organizing these scrappy napkin sets as a tutorial..... what do you think big or smaller napkins?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Crafty Chic Challenge

The Crafty Chica is offering up a whole bushel of booty in this super fun contest that she has teamed up with Craft to hold.

Crafty Chica/CRAFT Contest Description

Crafty Chica and CRAFT are excited to present a contest for all you crafty beach-goers this summer. It's the first Crafty Chica Challenge, and this is your chance to win your very own Crafty Chica Party for you and five guests! Submit a photo of your own embellished beach tote to the Crafty Chica Challenge Flickr group and at the end of the four week period, The Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo will pick one Grand Prize winner and three runners-up.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a prize pack for your very own Crafty Chica Party for you and five guests!

The prize pack includes:

  • 30-minute crafty conversation/coaching session for your party (or just for you) with Kathy Cano-Murillo.
  • $100 discount off of the Crafty Chica Art Cruise package.
  • 6 sets of Crafty Chica Mojito Papers.
  • Crafty Chica Wood Boxes (great for making a shrine for something you love).
  • 1 set of handmade invites and a paper banner handmade by Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica!
  • 10 jars of Crafty Chica Glitter.
  • 1 Crafty Chica Wish Granter Empowerment Guardian for you to decorate to bring cheer to your party!
  • 1 copy of Kathy's book, Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing.
  • 1 mixed CD of music to craft to, chosen by Kathy.
  • A blog post about your party on Kathy's blog.

Three (3) runners-up will receive a Crafty Chica bobble head and a $25 MakerShed Gift Certificate.

Deadline is extended to 07/24/09.

Head on over to the Crafty Chica Challenge Flickr group.

Monday, July 6, 2009

snazzin' up new kicks and lovin' She and Him

~I got some new music and some new sneakers....

These are my brand spankin' new $5 kicks

I added some scrappy flowers, fun and easy...that's my style

~also, On a whim my sweet lover downloaded the She and Him album, Vol I for me.I cannot hear it enough ~maybe you feel the same as me.

...I find my self practicing my pronunciation of "brag" every time I hear this song; trying mightily to get it just like her(Zooey Deschanel) and yet never quite
ahhh what a belle.