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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Boxful of Goodies!

Last week I received two great gifts. New front teeth (long story) and a boxful of goodies from my mother in law(a much better story). She was given a whole batch of drapery fabric samples and trimming samples from a designer friend, and passed them all on to me! The fabric is all upholstery weight and ranges in size from 9x6 inches to 9x12 inches. The prints and colors are so different then all my Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler fabric, which makes them a welcome addition to my ever growing stash! I was so excited to make something, I made this weekend a sewing weekend. I knew I wanted to make a small zipper tote, but it needed to be extra cute to go with my new super great fabric.
I came across a great tutorial on Noodle Head for her Gathered Clutch Tutorial and knew that would be the perfect project for this fabric. The pictures and directions are very easy to follow. I didn't really have to read them, and I adjusted all the sizes to match the amount of fabric I had. I did not include any interfacing do to the weight on the fabric, and I did have some issues with the tabs on the zipper (I think this again was because of the weight of the fabric). But over all it turned out well, and I would try it again with some minor adjustments. I took pictures of the process to share with you, I think it is more fun to see how things come together. Happy sewing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What drives you?

Some of you might have noticed the lack of posts in the past couple of weeks. I wish it was because I was so busy making wonderful things to share with you, but sadly this is not the case. After several painting, sewing, crafting, and home decor failures and disasters I am posing these questions to you...

What drives you to create? 
What is the thing that makes you want to create day after day? 
How do you keep creating when nothing seems to be working?

If I thought I had the right answers, or even any answer I would share it with you, but I would love to hear what you think. I am in a point of reflection in my life right now, maybe it is a quarter life crisis! Ha! The problem is all this reflection has filled my head so full that it is hard to create. It is hard to think about anything else. So just like Michael Scott declared "I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!!" I am declaring "I HAVE CREATIVE BLOCK!!" (Not bankruptcy, just to be clear.)
Now that I have said it out loud (wow that felt good) I am committing myself to manning up. When I feel like I'm flailing I like to embark on a new project, the bigger the better. I have four new mixed media paintings in the works right now. I have taken over our dining room with these new 20x20 inch hopefully wonderful paintings to be. 
I start each painting by laying out the doilies first. I inter mix doilies that I have made, with doilies that I have thrifted, to give myself a basic layout to establish the composition first. I make sure there is a good variation of scale and pattern and that some of the doilies interact with the edges of the canvas. Color does not matter at this point because the doilies will all be dyed or painted later. The next step will be picking color pallets, my favorite! Stay tuned, I hope to be sharing the next stage with you soon. I look forward to hearing how you deal with creative block, leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Anthropologie Inspired Artstar Necklace

I believe anthropologie called these the frozen globes necklace? Both colors made their way into my collection. I love wearing these necklaces they are so big, they make every outfit better. The problem is that they weight so much, something I ignored in the reviews and went ahead and bought them anyway. Because they get so much wear I decided to make a variation that was a bit lighter and it was the perfect project to use these amazing star beads that I picked up for $1.00.
 All you need is a bit of thick chain, and a bit of thin chain, broken necklaces would be perfect. The contrasting chain is a nice detail. Then find the largest most unique statement beads, and basic jewelry findings. Now you are good to go.
It is a bit more understated then the anthro necklace, but it is totally lighter. I am thinking I might add something in between the stars for a bit of color. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Green Monster Scarf

I am adding another page to the blog, Artstar Hookin'... Don't worry it is not going to be dirty!
I have a new found addiction that distracts me from painting, crochet. It is so much more relaxing to me than knitting. I have a hard time trying to balance and twist the knitting needles! When you crochet, all you need is yarn and a hook. I can throw it my purse if I am headed west side for a the weekend, and it doesn't take up too much space on the couch when I am too ADD to just sit and watch TV with Mr. A. I am completely self taught, thank you YouTube. Mikey has videos to teach you every stitch and advanced projects as well. Best of all he goes in slow motion!
I am not very good at following patterns, I usually get board or they take to long. Also I am such a novice that sometimes I have no idea what all the instructions mean, I am a picture person. So here is the first of many simplified projects that are fun, fast and things you would actually want to make, wear or use.

The Green Monster Infinity Scarf
The Green Monster Scarf is inspired by an infinity scarf I purchased this year but wore so much that it started to fall apart. This is by far one of the warmest scarfs I own.
 It's big, and slouchy and the perfect color of pea soup green. It can be worn long and relaxed or layered for that "my scarf is eating me alive" look that is so hip with a simple wool coat. (Not as cute with my crooked Ray Ban's! The self timer was not so kind that day.)

What you need to know and supplies- 
Stitches used- Chain Stitch, Double Crochet (DC), Slip Stitch

Row 1- Chain 125, join with a slip stitch
Row 2. Chain 1 DC 125 (Careful not to twist your chain)
Row 3-7 repeat row 2 weave in loose ends

If you are a more experience crocheter, I apologize in advance for my simplistic explanations, I do not claim to be a pro but I am having tons of fun learning. I whipped this baby up during two bad movies on one snowy Saturday. It is so quick and easy you can make one in very color, or it is the perfect last minute gift. But hurry up Spring is on the way!