Friday, August 23, 2013

The 30 Minute Challenge

The other night, my boyfriend and I were watching tv together for a few hours. I realized it was about 8 o'clock however, and needed to work a little and make at least one of the things I have people wanting to pay me for. I told him I needed to work for a bit and his response of course was, "Ok, see you in an hour, if even." I simply stated, "I don't need an hour, I can work for only half an hour and be back in here!"

Needless to say, he didn't believe me so I made sure when I went to my craft room, to take special note of the time. I didn't do a clutch as I know for a fact these take about an hour, maybe an hour and 15 minutes for me to make, so I tested myself on making a simple tablet case with no frills or bows or anything.

Wouldn'tcha know, I totally won the challenge and was back in 30 minutes to watch some more tv with him!!

He did ask me when I got back however if it would even fit her tablet, and did I check to make sure? So he made me sufficiently paranoid enough to ask her exactly what tablet she has (Kindle Fire) so that I could look up the exact dimensions to my Nexus 7" tablet and there was only a 10mm difference on top to bottom measurement! Yay!! AND she likes how it looks! 

Now I only need to finish her clutch and I'm golden!!

Craft ya laters!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First attempt at inchies

I've recently become aware of these things called "inchies" thanks to the forums. An insightful post about what they are, as well as what "rinchies", "twinchies", "moos" and "rolos" are is here.

I am still trying to figure out the appeal, but in the process, I decided to make a few for myself:

A close-up for a little more detail:

I made these by cutting up an ATC card for watercoloring on into the 1"x1" pieces and once they were all created, I glued them to a piece of cardstock for scrapbooking to use as a display. I did trim it down a little so the inchies could be closer to each other instead of spread out on the whole piece of cardstock.

For something like this, I can see the appeal I suppose... it just depends on what you actually put on them or how you decorate them. These I feel were a little empty, until I put them together on the background and then they didn't look quite so 'meh'. I'm not sure about doing ones that aren't part of a collage or set such as these, but I may try a few more at some point and see what I can come up with. I especially want to try to do a themed set for my bff who loves the Firefly series/movie and the quote "I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar." in particular.

Even when I tried explaining to my boyfriend and the friends we had over the other night what I was doing and though why, "They're art... ya know,.. used for jewelry, to display, magnets.... things like that?" I was still a little unsure myself of why I was making them. 

I have been searching for ideas and different ways to make them, decorate them and display them and so far, I will say that Kira's blog "Oops, I craft my pants" has given me a TON of inspiration and I might try to do some of the things she's done such as:

Tiny scraps into colorful collage
Another teeny inchies book
Three bird inchies made from scraps

I really want to try something like these as some of the other ones I've seen (not going to show as I don't want to appear to be badmouthing any other artist, each person's opinion is their own and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings from my personal feelings or opinions) are a little too cluttered for my personal tastes or I can't quite understand why they put as much clutter on the pieces as they did, etc. The ones Kira does are minimal, but colorful and cute as all get out, much more my style and taste!

I love having small-scale art and things to put up on my wall at work so that's maybe the biggest appeal for me on these guys. I do particularly love the idea of a little inchies book though, something maybe I can adapt for the months or maybe the days with no month specified type of thing...

The other thing though is that it doesn't just have to be inchies! I have done a couple of ATC cards here but only did the 2 as I wasn't sure what else to put on them at the time, but there's the whole genre of these guys with the rinchies and twinchies too:

Inchies, rinchies and twinchies!
Rinchies are round inchies and twinchies are 2" square pieces, you have a little more room on those to work on a design. But there are also trinchies (3" square pieces) and moos (basically artist trading cards, ATCs) and rolos (altered rolodex cards).

Yeah, she has some pretty awesome stuff that she's made and is sooo inspiring to me!!

Craft ya laters!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Origami flower bunch in purple and black

My friend asked me to help her make some origami flowers for her wedding reception decorations. The style was this, called kusudama:

Simple enough, yeah?

Well, I got so intrigued with trying different colors and patterns, I went and got an old used copy of Jane Eyre to use those pages. It was pretty funny as I was doing this in the living room while watching a movie with my boyfriend and he looks at me funny and this is the conversation we had:

Him: Are you cutting up a book?!?
Me: Yes, yes I am.
Him: Why would you do that?!
Me: I'm crafting, duh?
Him: Well, is it a good book?
Me: *shows him the book title* Have you heard of it or read it?
Him: Oh. No. Carry on.

Now granted, I haven't read the book yet and I plan on one day reading it, but it wasn't that great a copy and I was making a flower primarily for personal practice and to recall how to make them, then the 2nd was going to be for my bff, Airon.

I used regular Elmer's glue for the pieces to be closed on themselves and to each other in the pairs, but then used hot glue to attach to these silver foil-like pipe cleaners I had in my stash, folded in half to be sturdier.

Then this last weekend I decided to make a whole bunch of flowers to give my boss cuz she's awesome!! Her favorite colors are purple, black and silver so I went to Hobby Lobby and got some 12"x12" sheets of scrapbooking paper, cut out 4" squares, painted some 1/8" (I think) dowel rods silver with acrylic paint, 2 layers and...

There are 8 total flowers in this bouquet and my hands didn't really start hurting/cramping until flower 8, so I call that a total win! I think it also helps when you assembly line the flower parts and then space it out with gluing together. Fold petals for 2-3 flowers...glue...fold 2-3 more...etc.

I tried to get a picture of the full bunch at a distance in front of one of the windows at work... didn't realize the colors were so bad, but you get the idea of how they look, right? I used some simple white/clear/AB glass marbles in the vase to give it a little more color.

Needless to say, my boss LOVES them!! ^_^ I'm thinking I might have to try making myself a bunch or two or ten! I do however want to try making them smaller, maybe see how small they would be with 3" square pieces of paper, but I also saw this and want to try it as I had the idea in my head and seeing it really does encourage me to have some to display cuz they look awesome!!

I just LOVE how that looks!!! I like the idea of using the alternate color as the leaves, but I'm also wondering how it'll look to have the 6 petal flowers (like what I did) and use an alternate color that's a little darker or lighter and try to mimic a real flower with layers of petals....

Don't worry, I'll definitely show you guys what I try and how they look!!

Anyone that hasn't heard of these and/or wants to try making some, this tutorial is fantastic and the site also has a bunch more tutorials for making all kinds of other origami things!!

Craft ya laters!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Halloween 2013 prep has begun!!

Yes! I have begun preparations for Halloween 2013 decorations! Yay!!!

In Austin, there is a Goodwill outlet type place you can go to and get anything that would normally be at a Goodwill, only even cheaper! They have clothes, housewares, luggage, shoes, toys, books, furniture... the only catch is that it's not hung up or on shelves or neatly laid out, not really:

Yup! You are indeed seeing that right! Everything is just in big blue bins! They dump out the items in these bins and wheel them out to the floor in rows. It's a little interesting because they guard a new row of bins and don't let anyone near them until the whole row has been wheeled out and the employees I think have been able to get out of the way.

I'd heard and seen reviews of other people going and freaking out at the people that practically swarm on the bins once you're allowed and how crazy and scary it is.... I didn't think it was too bad. I wasn't too interested in getting first pick on what was being put out and so I kept my distance, going through the housewares and toy bins mostly, so it didn't bother me how other people were behaving. In fact, all in all, I had a pretty fantastic time. So much so in fact, and this is mostly due to being with my friend Adeana (the one who told me about this place and got me excited to go in the first place), we were there for almost 3 hours by the time we checked out and decided to head out of there!!

Now, you're wondering what I went for, right? Well, like I've shown in my "looking forward to Halloween post", I went mainly looking for cheap, ratty dolls I wouldn't feel bad about defiling and painting to look gross, gory, dead, etc! And boy howdy, I  made out like a freaking PACK RAT!!!

Full doll haul

In the above picture, I had piled most of the Barbie-type dolls in a case. Below, they're all laid out nice and neat (ish) to give you a better idea of exactly how many there are. I believe when I counted, there's about 35 full and partial dolls?

I love the fact I found just a head, and its hair was nearly entirely chopped off! I had to have this shot with one bigger baby holding it like "it's ok... shhh...." and the one next to him going "holy crap!!"

Anyone else recognize this case?? I may still have mine in a box or closet somewhere, but I definitely had one of these growing up to keep my Barbies in!! Adeana suggested I dirty it up, tear it a little and make some sort of zombie doll case somehow.... we'll see how I manage that one lol.

Here we have my big baby dolls!! I believe about 20 total of these pictured here and...


Are they creepy enough?? ;) No? ok, how about this...

I seeeee youuuuuuuuuuu

I was so loved and played with, I have holes in my body!! :(

Glamour shots...

Mommy liked putting makeup on me...only, it wasn't really makeup, and I can't get it off now.. I feel like such a dirty whore..... :'( *sniff sniff*

You're going to do WHAT to us?!?! Noooooooooooooooooooo................
Not sure why, but I think it's weird that most of the dolls I've seen and got have blue eyes... Either way, their vacant stares are a little creepy sometimes and the ones with holes in their mouths for pacifiers...I am trying to figure out what I can do to utilize that and make it creepy...
One of usssss.........

I have no idea about this doll... This 'thing' was around its neck and I was able to just about wrap it inside like I was coddling it? Trying to think if I could use that or not...
This little girl is interesting. Not only is she frowning and looks sad, but she has one green and one blue eye! not sure if that's just age or if she came that way...the sad thing really weirds me out though, don't think I've ever seen that.

Yeahhh..... this is a hair clip hair extension... thing. I couldn't resist getting it, but now have to figure out how to use it!

Next, we have a lamp I was EXTREMELY excited to have found!!

Insert creepy old guy type slow laugh here ;)

The lamp shade is sufficiently dirty, grungy and worn. This will need little work to get creepy-fied!!

Not many non-doll items I got, but the lamp and these things are the only Halloween non-dolls stuff I got. That's 4 packages of webbing, unopened, a black roll of crepe paper, a posable spider, bag of plastic pumpkin votive holders or whatever, a plastic/styrofoamy skull that has a battery slot in the bottom and not sure what it does.. and then another mask, of course!

Past the Halloween stuff, I found 2 sewing machines that they priced at $10 a piece!! I took a gamble and chose only one but am so excited I got home, plugged it in (yes! the pedal/plug was with it!!) and IT WORKS!!! The light bulb is good and the pedal moves the needle!!! I can't wait to get this to Airon after we figure out how to thread the darn thing.... lol

Most of what Adeana got was clothes and a bit of Christmas decorations (we found an entire popcorn tin full of red plastic ball ornaments, 3 or 4 patterns on them!!) . She did however find something that well, excited her because she knew what it was or could be,.. I had to be told :p

Yup! She found an honest to goodness Hermes scarf!! It was in pretty good condition too! I maybe found one tiny little red kool-aid type of stain, but I think that may have been it!

See, the especially cool thing about Blue Hanger is that they only price certain things (like the sewing machine and furniture, anything that's over about 7 or so pounds) and the rest is priced BY THE POUND!!

That's right! Because of this, my entire haul was only $60!!!! $50 was about my limit for Halloween related supplies/props so I did perfect!

We were so pleased with ourselves and our finds and so excited, we decided to hit up a local place called Red's Porch for a couple of cold, delicious beers and some grub. I got a sort of egg, bacon and salsa burrito and Adeana got some chicken and waffles, the waffles were especially DELISH!!

That was definitely a good day to hang with a friend, to find some awesome deals and especially for a good bite and cold beer. I can't wait to get started on dirtying up and creepifying these dolls for ya'll to see. I think I may have even decided on doing a main theme for my house decorations as well as ideas to do for it!

Craft ya laters!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First Official Double Zipper Tablet Case In Store!!

This last weekend, I got a chance to sit down and take my time working on my own double zipper case, the same design as what my friend Airon and I worked on last week, and am very pleased with the results!!

It's the same fabric as the last attempt I did but I couldn't bear the thought of making a case that might not work with a similar fabric I bought for myself with butterflies instead of flowers!!

I worked on it throughout the day but I must have only worked on it for an hour and a half or so. It's pretty basic once you get past the idea that there's 2 zippers instead of just the 1, and that you need an extra layer of batting and interior fabric...

It's pretty snug for my 7" Google Nexus tablet on the sides, but because of the extra fabric I used, it's got plenty of room top to bottom and is snug on the sides once it's in; the only really snug part is getting past the zipper, but that's ok.

It comfortably fits my tablet in the main section, and has more than enough room for my charger as well which means I'd have plenty of room to put a pair of earbuds in there also!!

You can't even tell there's a tablet AND a charger in there, can you?!

I will call Airon the guinea pig on this one though. She and I both noticed that it was a little difficult to get the zipper teeth on the front pocket's zipper lined up when sewing the layers together, and not have the fabric get stitched through with the zipper a little too open (you have to open that zipper to stitch over it and give it the new ends). I tried this though and it worked like a charm!:

It's maybe a little hard to tell, but I basically used a couple pins on both sides of the zipper to pin through the layers when the zipper was closed so that when I opened it and stitched over the open end on the left, it was still pretty much lined up to what it was when closed!

I must say though, I'm pretty proud of myself on this one as well as the last 2 clutches I have made and the last 2 pouches I've made. Why you ask? Well, it's all a matter of getting more and more used to my sewing machine, realizing little tips and tricks and just what works best for what I'm trying to do.

One of the things that I was getting a lot was knotted string within the first inch or so of stitching! I kept having to take the piece out, get the strings out of it and what was stuck in the bobbin area, and start again! I finally realized it was just the starting strings getting in my way.This was easily fixed by taping the strings down on the backside of the machine and then un-taping them after getting that initial inch or so sewn!!

The other thing was figuring out that the left side of my zipper sewing foot is the PERFECT gauge to get that perfect top-stitch taken care of!!

I may still have a ways to go on sewing skills and talent, but hey, considering where I was only a few months ago...I'm definitely proud of myself and my hard work. If you are trying to get better at sewing or even learning how, just remember that noone starts out perfect and good product comes out of practice, patience and hard work!!

This will be my first tablet case I'll put up in my online store at and I couldn't be happier to finally get one online since so far the only ones I've made as sellable quality are currently at Easely Amused.

Well, that's all for now. I will let you guys know what the next batch of clutches/cases look like as I hope you're as excited as I am to see them!!

Craft ya laters!!