What I've been up to lately...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Project Run and Play Sew Along Week 1: Inspired by Art

Let me start this post with a confession...
I'm a math geek at heart.
It's true.
I like math.  Not just numbers either.  But math concepts...patterns, geometry, problem solving...
I especially like using math in sewing, crocheting and designing.

So, what does this have to do with Art?
There can be math in art, too!
One of the masters of applying  mathematical concepts in art was the dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher.  My favorite pieces of his are the ones that use tessellations.  A tessellation is a repetition of a shape that has no overlaps or gaps.  Like tiles that fit perfectly together.
Here is my favorite of Escher's woodcuts, Sky and Water (1938):
File:Sky and Water I.jpg
I love how the shapes remain the same, but the level of detail in each row makes you see something different.
And here is another, Smaller and Smaller (1956):

Who knew little lizard creatures could be so beautiful?!?!
My sew along design is inspired by MC Escher and his amazing mathematical artwork.
I started by creating the fabric.
I pieced together triangles into a simple geometric tessellation.
I varied the colors in a way that, to me, is reminiscent of Escher's Sky and Water.
Then I used my triangle tessellation fabric to make the pants.
I didn't want the pattern on the pants to be too overwhelming, so I used it only on the front and chose a solid black for the back.
I lined the front of the pants so that, first of all, they would be more comfortable to wear and, second, I didn't have to finish ALL of those seams. I just pressed them flat and covered them up.
I added rear patch pockets with triangle details, a knit waistband for comfort, and I top stitched with orange thread for just for fun.
The shirt is a simple raglan sleeved knit tee with more orange top stitching and a stenciled "math" phrase for my cutie pie (ha-ha, get it Q-T-Pi)!
It was upcycled from an old blue tank top and a grey, long sleeved t-shirt.
You can see all of the art inspired sew-along looks here, and go to PR&P on Friday to see what the All-Stars have come up with and vote for your favorite!
linked up at:  project run and play, the crafty blog stalker, katie's nesting spot, girl inspired, tater tots and jello, whipperberry, too much time on my hands, it's overflowing, i heart nap time, it's so very cheri, keeping it simple, homemaker on a dime, salt tree, love grows wild, homework, skip to my lou, not just a housewife, adventures of a DIY mom, today's creative blog, someday crafts, twin dragonfly designs, sew much ado, mom on time out, the train to crazy

Friday, March 22, 2013

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

I got new business cards for my etsy shop this week and I love them so much that I wanted to show them to you!
It's really silly how excited I am over these cards, but I've been thinking about new ones for a while and couldn't find just what I was looking for.  Then, one day while obsessively browsing on etsy...you know when you just have to do one more search even though the children are spinning through the house like tornadoes and dinner is three second away from being a burned, inedible mess... I ran a search for 'moose' and came across this adorable stamp at the shop norajane.
Moose Rubber Stamp
When I hopped over to norajane, what else did I find?  A set of the cutest little mice stamps too!
Mice Rubber Stamp Set
Moose stamp + Mouse stamp = I MUST HAVE!!!
So, I ordered the stamps, reined in my little twisters and rescued dinner.
Later that evening, when the children were nestled, all snug in their beds and Momma had visions of Moose and Mice in her head...I hit etsy again and came across these chevron business cards and hang tags at modern typography.
Chevron Kraft Brown Business Cards with Fall 2012 Pantone Bright Modern Colors - Set of 100
Chevron Kraft Swing Tags for Gifts, Favors, Prices or Paper Crafts-  Set of 75
And it just clicked.
I'll use the stamps to personalize these simple but striking cards.
I placed my order and then ran to meet the mail carrier at the door for the next few days, until my goodies arrived.  I tore through the packages like a five year old on Christmas morning and stamped a moose and mouse on the first card immediately.
I am in ♥LOVE♥
What do you think?
Does etsy have that "kid in a candy store" effect on you too???
 This is NOT a sponsored post.  I'm just so happy with these products and the fast, friendly service that I received that I wanted to share.   I would highly recommend Melanie at modern typography for your printing needs...check out her chalkboard series of labels and tags too, they're really cool!  And for easy to use and beautifully crafted rubber stamps don't miss Mollie at norajane...she makes chic pillows too!
find me at these linky parties...
i heart nap time, it's so very cheri, homemaker on a dime, creatively living, uncommon designs

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Don't Cry Over Spilled...

Can you guess what this is?
It is thread...but be more specific.
How about now???
Those of you who know my family personally are probably thinking that this looks like the deviously crafty work of little A & Z!
And you would be correct.
This WAS my bobbin case with all of my ready to use wound bobbins in a beautiful rainbow of colors.
Now it is my randomly knotted collection of unwound bobbins!
Don't let these super squishy, luv-bug adorable faces fool you for a minute...
these boys know how to make trouble...
 with a capital "T".
Most of their trouble is on a larger scale...
this happened to be a very small mess, but a very tangley one indeed.
So, what do you do with a bobbin case that has been ransacked by your local band of marauding pirateers?
the options:
1. Throw the whole thing in the trash.
notes: very wasteful, expense to replace
2. Untangle and rewind bobbins
notes: really?  NO, not really.
3. Cut losses by cutting off tangled threads and check a different type of thread to make sure your IUD is still firmly in place
notes: reasonable plan
4. Turn lemons into lemonade and make something with those seemingly wasted threads...
notes: does anyone sense a pillow tutorial coming on???
Here it is, the "Don't Cry Over Spilled Thread" Pillow
As I was staring at those twisted, intertwined threads, it occurred to me, they are pretty cool to look at...what if I took the whole mess and stitched it onto fabric?
So, I cut the ends of the threads that were still attached to the bobbins, and played with the strings a bit, kind of spreading them out.  Then I cut a square of fabric and plopped the mess onto it.
I played a little more, swirling colors and moving threads until I had an interesting looking array.
Then I stitched in a grid pattern over the entire square in a thread color that closely matches the fabric.  I kept the grid lines close together to ensure that the threads were held securely.
Then I took the square and used it as the front panel of a pillow cover (you can find my simple pillow cover tutorial here).
The result is an interesting looking pillow with a tangled mess of a history.

Linked up at...
feathered nest, bacon time with the hungry hungry hypo, happy go lucky, becoming marthawhipperberry, it's overflowing, i heart nap time, it's so very cheri, keeping it simple, homemaker on a dimeuncommon designs, creatively living, craft-o-maniac, skip to my lou, salt tree, love grows wild,
nap-time creations, sew much ado, someday crafts, girl inspired

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Fever Goes Formal

There's a Pattern Remix challenge going on over at Project Run and Play this week using the Spring Fever Dress pattern by Jessica at Me Sew Crazy.  So, I set aside my snips and snails and puppy dogs tails pile of sewing projects and managed to squeeze in a ruffle-y, girly party dress.
Jessica's original Spring Fever dress looks like this.  It has an adorable buttoned-up back bodice and layers of ruffles form the skirt.
Here's the sugary sweet remix I came up with...
It's perfect for Easter, a flower girl or wedding, a fancy party, or playing dress up in Mommy's high heels!
I took the detail from the rear bodice and switched it around to the front and added a touch of lace at the edge.  I kept the flutter sleeves and trimmed them with lace too.
I added a wide waist band with the stripes running horizontally to drop the waist and elongate the bodice.
I took away one layer of ruffle on the skirt and made a high-low hemline (which shows off how beautiful the fabric is both inside and out).
Ahhh, this fabric...I ran into it at a fabric warehouse on the remnant table and got a super-great deal on it knowing someday I'd find a use for it.
When I saw the pattern for this remix, I thought of the silk in all those pretty ruffled layers and knew it was time to pull it out of my stash.
The contrast fabric is a tapestry swatch also from the remnant sale.  It sure did make some pretty buttons!
Is silk the most rational choice for a toddler's dress?  Perhaps not, but this silk was a heck of a lot cheaper than cotton, so why not have some fun...
kick off your heels and dance the night away!
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