Monday, February 22, 2010

I See The Light

Some of my favorites...

This lamp is amazing! It looks like something you'd find in a hobbit or a fairy's house. Jan makes the paper herself, cooking the raw fibers of hickory bark and the abaca plant and forming them into sheets which are wrapped around the twig framework. I fell in love with this lamp the moment I saw it!

Spicy Hot Pepper Table Luminary by ZienOnMain

Hot Pepper was inspired by a picture Cindy took in South Korea. Made from terra batik handmade paper and branches, it’s vibrant, fun, and casts a warm glow on a cold winter night. Very sculptural!

And last...
Chandelier with copper accents by SilverCityIron

This chandelier is handforged using traditional blacksmithing techniques and features fish-tail scrolls, copper wire banding and reclaimed copper candle holders. Corry often uses materials which are recycled and salvaged which adds to the character of each piece!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dreaming of Warmer Weather...

I'm so tired of this cold weather. Temperatures have been about 20 degrees lower around here than normal for months now. I hyperventilate each month upon opening the utilities bill. When will we get a break?!

Instead of sitting here with cold hands and feet wallowing in my misery, I will relive my days on vacation in the Bahamas...ahh, tropical paradise. Warm sand between my toes. Warm water for snorkeling. Pretty fish and sea shells. Sitting in the shade beneath a palm tree, sipping a drink. I need to get out my "Island Paradise" nature sounds CD and it will *almost* be real...and maybe a heating pad to lie on.

This is for the EtsyBloggers Team Carnival, this round hosted by HandmadeBySandi. Thanks Sandi, for this wonderful theme!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Place For Everything

...though not everything is always in its place...!
I'm so delighted with my latest piece of studio furniture! My hubby made a paper organizer for me! No longer is my paper in a box in the floor to be tripped over. I no longer have to fear my preschooler will use my paper storage box for a platform and trample my papers to death. Nor do I fear my dog's toenails piercing the papers walking over them when I've left my box open.

Not only is it an organizer's delight, it also doubles as another work surface, and I surely can't get enough of those!!

See that carved elephant puppet on the table? I love him but cannot for the life of me figure out where to hang him. My ceilings are all angles and I don't have a nice corner for him to hang in. He looks out of place hanging anywhere else. I'm determined to find a spot for him.

Now my papers are literally at the tips of my fingers and I can see what I have. *squeals with delight*

AND...the top opens up for even more storage of smaller sheets of scrap paper! Oh bliss! I'm so fortunate to have a husband who is crafty.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where Are They Now?

I thought it would be fun to do a little posting every now and then to showcase the travels my books have made. This book, Honey Indigo, made its first stop in Australia and is now on a European tour! It will showcase memoirs, snapshots, and ticket stubs from the trip. *I'm a bit jealous of this book*  Oh well, I'm proud to have something I made traveling around the world, even if I'm not going myself!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Be My Valentine!

It seems Valentine's Day was more special for me when I was a child than it is now. I remember the excitement of making our own mailboxes and taping them to the sides of our desks for the BIG DAY.
Valentine's Day Personalized Cards with Keepsake Mailbox by InkspotWorkshop

When the day came, we'd walk around the room playing mail carrier, delivering Valentines to everyone's mailbox. I think there was a rule that if you participated you had to give everyone a Valentine, not just a special few people. That way no one felt left out.
In Bloom Spring Colors 3 by simplysplendidstamp

I kept my Valentines for many years until at some point when I was a teenager I decided they weren't cool anymore, so I threw them out. I wish I still had them. :/

February's Featured Etsy Blogger

Congrats to this month's Etsy Blogger, TiLT Creations!! She has a shop full of really neat things like backpacks, totes, purses, clutches and this really cool messenger bag--

I love what she wrote in this description: "Do you feel like a zombie heading out to work? Then this bag is for you." I was just telling my hubby the other night sometimes I feel like the guy in that old Dunkin Donuts commercial, staggering out of bed and mindlessly heading to the kitchen..."Time to make the donuts"...only in my case I'm stumbling to the studio to work on custom books.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More New Things

I have been so busy and I'm excited to share some new things coming up!
First, I've opened yet another shop on Etsy, UberArtWorks. Actually, this shop has been open since last summer but I never did much with it. I am selling vintage knitting and crochet PDF patterns and a few destash items as I come across them. These patterns belonged to my grandmother and they've just been sitting in a corner for years now. I did some research and to the best of my knowledge, the copyrights have expired on them and the patterns are now public domain.

Next, I'm working on some crocheted posies I will be incorporating into *something* (What, I don't know yet...maybe a journal cover...) and will also be offering them for sale in my shop.

And finally, as if that isn't enough, I've been inspired to start an Art Journal. I started one a while back, but just couldn't seem to make things work. I've been watching Teesha Moore's YouTube video tutorials and that has given me enough direction to be able to run with this. Stay tuned for more on my progress with my art journal! (This keeps me accountable to finish what I've started!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Curtains - A Tutorial

I made some new curtains for my studio. I had some nice curtains already, but got into a big sale in the fabric store. The fabric was $6/yard and the trim was 90% off! How could I resist?? So now I have some curtains to alternate when the mood strikes me.

I am not the best at sewing so when I say this was pretty easy to do, trust me--it was! First you'll want to determine how long to make the curtains. I hung mine about 1 foot over the top window trim and down to the floor, which required almost 6 yards. I used the full width of the fabric (which I think is 54") for each panel. So, I needed 3 yards x 2 (for 2 panels). I always get a little more than I think I'll need, just in case I make a bad cut or miscalculated somewhere. I can always make pillows with the scraps (which will be another tutorial!).

Sewing machine
Decorator fabric (6 yards, in my case)
Trim (6 yards, in my case)
Coordinating thread
Fabric scissors
Tape measure
Clip rings
Curtain rod to fit your window

The first thing I did was try to straighten up the raw ends of my fabric as best I could. I laid the fabric out on the floor and used the grooves in my hardwood floor to guide my cuts. Then I measured my window once again to determine how long to cut each panel. I used 2 1/2-inches for the hem on both the top and bottom, so I added 5 inches to my total. I used my tape measure to mark where to cut.

Then I turned under the selvage on the sides of my curtains and hemmed them on my sewing machine. I used about a 1 inch hem on the sides. You may notice my curtain magically changes color throughout this tutorial. The photos above were taken with a flash and the ones below using natural light. The taffeta fabric I used has a sheen to it, changing from gold to olive depending on how the light hits it.

I use a glass vase as a trash receptacle and also to weight the fabric down so it doesn't slide off the table while I'm trying to sew. I'm challenged enough as it is, I don't need to be fighting the fabric also!

Next I measured 2 1/2-inches for the top hem and marked it with a pin along the entire length of the curtain.

Then I folded the raw edge up to the pin.

Next I gingerly pulled the pin out and folded again on the line where the pin was. Doubling the hem over like this makes a nice clean hem. I've found if you don't tuck the raw edge under (and I'm sure there's a technical term for that...I just can't think what it is...) it may start to unravel in the laundry and then you'll have strings hanging out of your nice curtains. I did that once with a pair of pants. :(

I pinned where to make my final stitches on the hem, measuring to be sure I had it even. My final hem is about 1 1/4-inches.

So here's my finished top hem. Repeat the steps above to make the bottom hem.

I laid my curtain panels out in the floor, making sure they were oriented correctly and pinned the trim on the leading edge (the inside edge where your curtains will meet in the middle when closed). One panel will have the trim on the left edge, the other panel on the right edge. Then I sewed the trim on with a zig zag stitch. (This panel really did change color! It's actually my old curtain, the alternate.)

And now, you have some lovely curtains which will astound and amaze everyone! Just attach them with your clip rings and voila!

I had some guests for a party this past holiday season and one lady asked me who designed my curtains! Ha!!
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