Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wedding Challenge

When a dear friend of mine announced she was getting married I was thrilled for her.
While she was planning her wedding, I was lucky enough to hear about plans, and choices, and clothing... It was lots of fun to share in her joy and excitement.
This lovely, beautiful woman is not a size six.
When she went looking for lovely lingerie to wear for her wedding night, she could not find any. I thought that was crazy, and I looked around for her too. She was right! There is not a lovely, classy plus size nightie or shift to be found. I was shocked. The market is untapped!
I can sew. So I set about to help her. With the famous last words ringing in my ears "how hard can this be?"
We had a planning session. I got a sense of what she wanted (classy, ivory, delicate, ...not unusual requests for a bride. This woman is classy, tailored, and sharply dressed at all times.)
We shopped for fabric, and a pattern, took measurements, and off I went. I made a lovely night gown from the most amazing silk fabric that has even been run through my machine. Is was beautiful and creamy with a hint of mocha in it.
But as all projects, it took much longer than I had thought it would. The silk was beautiful and perfect, and oh so slippery. It skidded and slid under the needle. Aaak. I slowed down. I ironed first. I pinned and basted more than usual. And in the end I was happy with the result.
But - I also had some beautiful embroidered chiffon for a robe. And when push came to shove, I did not get that done. I got intimidated. My friend was gracious and understanding, but I felt bad.
This challenge was the perfect time to get that project OUT tackle the fabric and the seams.
This robe is almost Kimono style, with deep arm holes down to the waist.
chiffon robe
The fabric is a beautiful chiffon with a boarder pattern on the bottom half.
embroided fabric
I accented it with a great wide burgundy red ribbon.
flower close up
I am really excited to give this to my friend.
And if you see it here - the cat is out of the bag!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

World Peace begins with one post card

I received a package from India in the mail. What a great day. The package was slathered with stamps, and wonderful "Air Mail" stickers.
My Package from India
I saved it for a day, closed. And then I opened it.
"... tied up with string"
It was my post card that I got from the challenge we did.
Mine was beautiful!
Wooden elephant It is an elephant, all made from wood.
Wood Tree Detail
There is a lovely note in it from the artist who made it.

I have never met her. I have never been to India. But now I am connected to a craft friend across the globe.
Ochr Elephant
I traveled abroad in college, and we lived abroad for a year when I was in school. I have long believed that our connections to people around the world are the key to world peace. How could anyone ever bomb a place they have visited? In theory or in practice.
Now, I have a friend in India! In a land that I have never been to. If everyone had one friend abroad, all fighting would end in a week. Maybe this is an over simplification of actual deep seeded political issues. But really, what could it hurt to TRY?
So, maybe Iron Craft is the key to world peace? I think I should get in touch with Ms. H. Clinton and discuss crafting and the end to global warfare. And recycling too.
Thank you, my friend Rashmi, for my wonderful package.
Here is to snail mail, crafting, blogging, and world peace!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Messy Art Revival

Up until now, the painting has been very restrained.
happy painter
While her friends dive in head first, and rub paint on everything, Jambi just uses a brush. She does not want the paint on her hands. She does not want food on her hands. (or her face) She will wipe her hands on my pants if no rag is offered.
hand print
That is, until last week.
We went to a local art space for kids, and she went to TOWN!
Starting with holding chalk
Then we used a paint brush, with abandon
Then we just WENT FOR IT!
Then onto the 'green era'
Here she is, calling out "Are you getting a load of THIS?"
We came home with paint in our HAIR! Paint up the back of our neck. Paint in odd patches on our shirt. (And when I say "our", I do mean "our". I had it all over me too.)
And, I say, FABULOUS!
After all, Jackson Pollock didn't come to our house. I didn't have to hose the floor down like a stadium after a big game.
Maria Von Trapp believes that children need play clothes that they can get dirty. And we respect Maria as the parenting expert that she clearly is.
So, messy it up! We will go back next week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge 16 Card Holder

For this money challenge I made a Card Holder for my purse.
I have so many cards, insurance cards, library cards, store cards, etc.
I had them in a zip lock bag in my purse and they were being flung around a bit too much.
I found this tutorial on line:
Nancy's Couture

I appreciated having the measurements all done, so I set out to follow her instructions.
There were a few little missteps in the directions. And some of the photos are shown near descriptions of things that were not pictured. But, I carried on, and it turned out great.
Orange holder
I used scraps from my first quilt.
card holder inside
Now, I will come clean. I did this one a few weeks ago.
So, just to honor the rules that the Olymic committee set out, I did one this week too.
Tan and Cranberry model
I used fabric in a different color family. It worked out well.
garden pattern holder
(But I have to say, I like my bright one better.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

reuse recycle renew Peeps

After the Peeps diorama was done, I had a lot of Peeps left over.
There seem to be two camps of people, those who love Peeps, and cannot have them in their house. And those who would not touch them. I am in the second camp. They are just way way too sweet for me.
But I thought I should do something with all of these left overs rather than put them in the trash. So I found a recipe for Rice Crispy Treats that was even a little bit healthy. The cook book Deceptively Delicious suggests brown rice puffs, and adding a little bit of flax seed. So I thought I would give it a try.
Here are the Peeps melting.
Kind of amusing, and disturbing at the same time.
I melted all the Peeps, and added the flax and the brown rice, and popped them into a Pyrex. Already, I could smell something was wrong. It was not unpleasant, but it smelled more like cotton candy than marshmallow.
I tasted a little piece, and, sure enough, it was just SO SWEET. It would be like walking into the coffee shop and just taking a hit off the sugar dispenser at the condiment station. They were inedible. Everyone in the house thought so. !!!
There was a funny time, when everything was melted, and I stirred, and two eyes came to the surface.
two eyes left
That is just not right!
I think I will try the recipe again, but do it with regular marshmallows.
And I do love the book. Man, you can get vegetables in ANYTHING!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wish You Were Here

The Iron Craft Challenge #14 was a post card challenge. We could do anything we wanted, as long as it was a post card size.
I ended up making two. They are both mixed media.
For the 'dots' card, I used fabric and stitched the materials to the card.
close up card
it also has part of the woven navel Oranges bag sewn to it.

The other card is a nod to my Naugahyde obsession.

The paper with gold is from a dollar store in China Town. It has some significance during one of the holidays, but I'm not sure what it is. (I could not understand the owner explaining it - truth be told. But he was so enthusiastic about it, I just appreciated the explanation) They sell them in HUGE stacks. And they are each a little bit different, with the lovely water color orange stripe, and the box of gold.
close up card

There are not enough Naugahyde projects out there. I intend to try to remedy this deficiency in my life time.
Happy Mail Bag to each of you!