A handful of cards, and the "ATC webcam" which my son thought was real funny for some reason :o)
Here is my latest ATC. I'm enjoying this trading card format and doing free motion machine stitching in such a tiny space... I'm thinking that it would be fun to stitch an entire card game!
I mentioned productivity in my last post. Here is one way I found to increase my sewing and crafting productivity: move the computer away from the sewing machine. This was not pre-meditated, but an accidental discovery! We moved the computer totally out of my sewing/bricolage area and thanks to Ikea it now has it's own desk of sorts. It's all downstairs now- and I'm no longer tempted to "check my e-mail real quick (yeah, sure)" before I start working on a project. This must be a little like people not having a TV and reading more... TV is not my problem though, because I rarely watch it- but when I do I'm usually stitching something at the same time. Nope, no tv problem here just an iMac problem, because man when I get on this computer, it's all over. 2 other good things about having the computer downstairs: - I have more space for the sewing and craft stuff - Other people (like my dear daughter in this photo) are tempted to use it more often, so if I can't have my iMac I go for the next best thing: my Viking.
I'm really liking this idea I saw on inhabitat: make your own designer terrarium, a mini indoor garden you can personalize to suit your taste. This would be a nice thing to do this Fall so that when Winter rolls around, you'd have a miniature garden to admire. For some reason this made me think of the marvelous little gardens I saw over at Liquidsky Arts, so cute... especially the Alice in Wonderland garden. Now to add inhabitat to my sidebar, and also treehugger, which I keep forgetting to add. Vive l'eco-design!
I decided to go ahead and "Gaudi" the mosaic birdfeeder as Sandy suggested (thanx!). I did this the lazy way though using a sheet of little tiles I bought on sale- you'll see what I mean in a day or two when the birdie hut is grouted and dry. I'm now adding tiny tiles on the roof edge. I think it will look nice when I'm done.
In the meantime, look what I found on my workbench in the garage. This was hiding in a box of mosaic shards for some obscure reason! I remember now that these little things are called Spirellas, and that you can find a tutorial for them here on the website of the multi-talented Lisa Vollrath. If any of you make altered books etc. then you probably know who she is already. If not, please check out her site because there's lots to see! Inspiration guaranteed, even if you're more into fiber than paper :o) Lisa's spirella is a fun and fast little thingy to make because it combines cardstock and thread. What you use them for when they're done is up to you! Hey I just had a thought: instead of using rubber stamped cardboard, it would be cool to fuse hand dyed fabric to the paper before cutting, and then use some interesting thread for the spiral part... Do you think this could be somehow added to a fabric postcard? Hmmm.... I wonder if they could be beaded? Or maybe forget the paper altogether and use Timtex or some other stiff interfacing?
I was still thinking about the bag I made yesterday when I stumbled onto this removable totebag organizer on the Martha Stewart website. This would probably work better for a bag made out of heavier fabric, but it's not a bad idea at all. I should probably stop thinking about bags, and concentrate on the little creature I should be working on for the Month of Softies though. "I'm late, I'm late" said the white rabbit...
And here is the finished sun printed fabric from the previous "how-to" post, after drying and ironing. Now it just has to wait for the right quilt or project to come along. I bet this would make a fun little bag...
After reading my sun printing post, Colleen left a comment asking how this was done. Sorry if I don't go into a lot of detail sometimes; I always think that nobody is going to read a really long detailed post! Anyway, I'm no expert at this, I just like to have fun with this technique. It brings out the kid in me. In fact, when I tried this last Summer with my son who was 5 at the time, I told him we were going to do magic in the backyard :o) ANYway, here's the basic no-frills material you need: prewashed Cotton Fabric or even a white t-shirt (I am assuming that light colors work best, but it would be interesting to try this with something darker or even a print), Pebeo Setacolor Soleil or Setacolor Transparent fabric paint, paint brushes, and a plastic bag or something to protect your work surface.
I usually dampen the fabric first, and then I just paint on it (whatever strikes my fancy). Here I tried to blend green turquoise and indigo. Then I put my hand stencil on top, and quickly went to find a sunny spot to put this in for at least an hour. I left it a little longer because the Winter sun was pretty weak today. I used a stencil, but you can use lots of things like old keys, leaves, and other found objects, or make your own stencils. Make sure whatever you use lies flat though (the print comes out better). Leave your fabric outside on top of a piece of cardboard covered with plastic. After a couple of hours or less, you can gently lift the stencil or object and see if all's well. And that's all there is to it. Later you iron your fabric with hot iron for 5 minutes to set the colors. It says on the paint bottle that you can also use it for tie dye... This could be interesting too, as whatever is hidden from sunlight doesn't absorb the dye and stays a much lighter shade of whatever Setacolor color you choose.
Necessity is the mother of invention they say... DIY shi-sha mirrors! How? Hang on, and I'll tell you. I always wanted to embroider shi-sha mirrors onto something, but could never find the little things in France nor did I want to spend a lot of money ordering them somewhere. One day I had a brain movement, and decided to make some out of an old CD. This worked really well as you can see by the fabric book page I'm posting today. But before you try this, a few words of caution: Be careful when cutting apart one of those freebie CDs you have lying around. I used old but still relatively sharp scissors, and I was wearing glasses to protect my eyes. Cut slowly, while turning the CD with your free hand. Also, make sure you get rid of any little plastic splinters you make while doing this, especially if you have toddlers or pets or if you like going barefoot at home :o) If I haven't scared you off, let me tell you that this was easy! The little circles you make may not seem perfectly round to you, and their edges may seem a little ragged, but once you embroider around them you can't tell. By the way, these little faux shi-shas being made of plastic, I hope that I don't have to tell you NOT to iron over them when you're done embroidering. On this particular block I was REAL careful not to do this, which didn't stop me from ironing over the bottom portion of this fabric page and burning away part of the sheer green fabric. Duh! I thought I was going to pass out with the iron still smoking in my hand, but then I noticed that it actually looked really interesting. Whew! A good thing for Margie who received this block. Her theme was Journaling with Friends. Anyway, perhaps you're wondering how to do shi-sha embroidery after reading this. I found a good tutorial here:
Have fun, and let me know if you try this!