Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hoot the Owl Mittens!

I couldn't show these mittens until after Christmas, or it would ruin the surprise, but I used the basic Norwegian Mitten chart that Hello Yarn makes available, and designed a pair of Owl-y mittens for my daughter! I made these in Jo Sharp DK wool, and they only took 2 days of knitting when she wasn't looking. I think they are adorable!

I hope to have a PDF available soon for download if you want to make them too!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Etsy store!

Hey, I finally did it, took the plunge and listed some items on Etsy!

I've had the shop profile for ages, I've bought things, but at last I got the time and courage to list things. I am: quilt7metal on Etsy!

I've got all my spooky goth stuff listed today; Ghost Kitty, Ghost Bunny, Li'l Devil and Skull Scarves!

Check it out, add me to your favorites! (even if you don't buy, add me!!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Knitted Felted Rings!

Several months ago I bought a cute pattern for some knitted, felted rings. I tried it over the weekend, but had to do some MAJOR adjustments to get it to work correctly. However, I think the results are great!! I used up some scraps of Cascade 220, Jo Sharp DK and Galway wool. I sewed on real freshwater pearls, mother of pearl, turquoise, and malachite.

Friday, December 12, 2008

MODISH giveaway!

I love the Modish website, and they are having 3 days of great giveaways! Lots of wonderful handmade items, most from Etsy.com sellers (if you've never been to Etsy.com, go NOW! I'll wait!)

There are several ways to enter, but you must do it today!

Have a Pink Christmas!

I have prepared my living room for Christmas with my pretty pink tree! Yay!

Our home's architecture is firmly entrenched in the 1950's, so rather than force it to be anything else, I just gave up and went with it. I have a lovely 5 foot pink tree in the window, but of course I couldn't stop there, so I also have several shorter tinsel trees around the room, as well as other miscellaneous trees spread about. And yes, those ARE paint-by-number paintings on the wall:
NUDES!! My father and grandmother painted those in the 1950's, appropriate, don't you think?? Beside them is a vintage velvet landscape painting, I just loved it and had to have it!

The big Virgin of Guadaloupe was a birthday gift last June; I planned to put it right out front of my house to annoy the neighbors across the street, but for some reason I find it hard to move her!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Crafty goodness!!

Saturday, my friend Andrea hosted another Craft Open House, to allow all of us procrastinators a chance to get together and work on those holiday presents we said we were going to make ourselves! This is the second I've attended.

That's Eva knitting on the left, Lydia in the blue, and my mom next to her. Jennifer and Andrea are working away in the next photo, Jennifer is closest to the camera. Andrea prepared a yummy feast for us...peppermint fudge covered Joe Joes from Trader Joe's, wine, lots of hummus and hot appetizers.

I finished my Squirrel Nut mittens, this is a pattern by Hello Yarn; go to the website, see all the great patterns!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Book Review: Altered Art for the first time!

In my quest to explore craftiness in all its variety, I came across this book, Altered Art for the first time, by Madeline Arendt. Published by Sterling, ISBN 1-4027-1655-9, I gave it to my teenager, who loves to collage and create keepsakes for her friend. So much better than the ordinary scrapbook!

I especially love the suggestion to use children's board books, which come is cool shapes and sizes. They take paint really well, and some have windows already cut into them. Ana used a teeny little book to create a sweet little spiritual book which sits along with our icons and saints.

There are lots of projects, and the author shows you how to alter more than books: gum tins, matchboxes, even playing cards! The color photos throughout are great for jump-starting ideas, even if you don't think you'll do the exact projects! And it's a perfect book to use to finish up last minute gifts for the holidays!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Red Panty Party Clothes - Recycled, Refashioned!

I decided I would like to add some pretty party tops to my Red Panty Clothing line this holiday season. I found a divine J Jill velvet skirt at Goodwill, in a yummy chocolate brown with pretty embroidered flowers on the front. I also had a J Jill brown corduroy dress from an earlier thrift shop foray. Both were in obnoxiously small sizes, so I cut them up, and re-fashioned them into a swirly, girly top that I am calling "Mocha Velvet Party top". What do you think?

I also had a yard of pretty paisley fabric, in purple, dark green, black, with sequins on it. I used a mens deep green corduroy shirt and made this sweet little number.

I plan on making several more party tops, because real-sized women like to be festive for the holidays, too!! This is me, with my wonderful new PLUS sized mannequin, it is so much better for modelling my clothing. My darling husband got it for me on Ebay for our anniversary; better than a vacumn cleaner!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Scrap Craft + Recycling = Fun!

To continue my Sewing Room Re-Organization (see earlier posts!) and use up more scraps from my Recycled Clothing line (see earlier posts!) I have been cutting circles out of the thrift shop clothing and sewing them up into Yo-yo's. What to do, what to do?

I decided to make some fun brooches, using buttons I've saved as well. I think they are turning out nicely, don't you?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Complete Book of Retro Crafts review!

When I was very young, my mother would get a copy of McCall's Needlework and Crafts magazine, and my absolute favorite part would be found near the back, in the instruction pages. There in the lower corners, would be a box containing easy crafts projects from Pack-o-Fun magazine. We couldn't afford it, but I lived for the excerpts, and sometimes my cousins would have a copy I could devour.

I just bought a new book, "The Complete Book of Retro Crafts" by Suzie Millions. Wow! It is such a blast from the past, and completely feeds my need for kitsch! The cover alone would have sold me on the book, because my own kitchen is filled with 1950's decor, but the pages are divine!

I'll give you a sneak peek: remember making burnt matchstick crosses at vacation bible school? The instructions are here!! There are also the braided gum wrapper crafts we remember, pine cone elves, and more glitter than you can shake a stick at! RUN, don't walk to get this book, you'll love it! Published by Lark Books, ISBN 1-57990-869-1

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stuffed Toys!

I realize Halloween is over, but this year I added to my Ghost Kitty and Ghost Rabbit family, with a Lil' Devil! Last year I sewed up some scarey Ghost Kitties & Rabbits to sell. The Kitty has a "ghost mouse" in its hand, and the Rabbits just hold a carrot, because I couldn't do a ghost carrot, they're already dead!

I used the same basic pattern as the kitty and rabbit, and cut it from flame patterned fleece. Then I created a new face, and added a little pitchfork!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Red Panty Tote Bags...Scraps United!

I posted about my Sewing Room reorganization last month, which went very well, thank you! The space isn't as beautiful as those in my books, or on TV, but I'm not those people! It works for me, and you can walk right in and get to everything. In fact, sometimes during the day I do that, just walk in, look around, and take a bit of pride in the fact that there is still floor space!

As part of my clean out, I got rid of a lot of fabric to various places. After sewing up a storm for the Red Panty "Fall Collection" (I love saying that) I had a bunch of scraps left over from all the thrift shop clothing I used. I tried to be realistic and saved pieces that were large enough to be of some use later, but I decided to take the smaller bits and cut 4" squares out of them. I didn't really have a plan when I started, other than to reduce the bulk of my stash.

Then I had an epiphany, and this is what I came up with: cute little Tote Bags from the same cloth as my clothing! I used 32 - 4" squares, set up 4 x 8, and a good friend who is an interior designer had given me a leftover bolt of this great ribbed serge fabric in green, and it was just enough to line 6 tote bags, including a inside pocket where I sewed my label, and do all the straps. So not only did I make good use of the linen thrift store clothing scraps, I reduced the size of my stash by one of those big cardboard tubes! For one tote, I used the front of an orange blouse, complete with the button placket and chest pocket!

I think the bags turned out sweet; my daughter tried to grab one to take back to school with her, but then she has a bag fetish like other people have a shoe fetish. I'll be dropping off 6 bags at the gallery that is selling my clothing, and I hope people like them as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ross Museum recycled Exhibit!

I believe I mentioned I had driven to Brooklyn and back in 48 hours to pick up artwork for the next exhibit at the museum. Well, we opened last week, and I think it looks fabulous!

The exhibit is our response to the National Colloquium theme "Cultivating a Green Campus". (for more information, you should go to the Ohio Wesleyan University site!) The colloquium sponsors a campus wide topic each year, and every department tries to relate something to it. Anyway, I got to curate our exhibit, and found 5 women artists who all work with recycled materials!

The first is Chakaia Booker, represented by the Marlborough Gallery, she works with steel belted radial tires and makes these incredible sculptures. We got 4 of her very small pieces; her work is really incredible!

We also are exhibiting Aurora Robson, who just got back from months in Texas, installing a gigantic sculpture for Rice University. She uses recycled plastic water bottles (think "Dasani") and this is the result! (this piece is dangling above my head in the gallery skylight!)

I also invited Francesca Vitali, otherwise known as Frucci on Etsy, and Hayley Muse Rupersburg, known as Museglass on Etsy. They have the most incredible jewelry! Frucci's is recycled paper from junk mail and shopping bags, and Museglass recycled produce containers and bags, sandwiching them between glass!

The final artist is a fellow Ravelry cohort, Lyne Kearns from New Zealand. She had approached me on Ravelry when she saw my ravatar "redpanties" and so she made me my very own Red Panty handbag, from recycled ladies panties!! I am making her a red panty quilt in return.

Sometimes I really love my job!

Monday, October 6, 2008

New REfashioned Sweater knits!

I promised photos of some of my new pieces, and here they are! Linda, the gallery owner, and Marti her assistant were kind enough to model for me, since it's not as attractive to model while you try to photograph yourself!

I really love these pieces, and this time I took some photos of the "raw" materials I started out with, to give a before & after view.

This top was a short sleeved black sweater and a really cute little skirt; I added some extra linen that had white flowers embroidered on it.


This top was a J Jill t shirt, and a plaid skirt!

These 2 sweaters looked good together, so I cut them up and mixed them back together, with a brown linen skirt on the left, and both have orange corduroy bias from a soft men's shirt

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall Collection of Red Panty Designs!

Wow, I can't believe how negligient I've been about blogging....sorry! Since I last posted, I've taken down 2 exhibits at the museum, driven to Brooklyn and back to pick up artwork, installed a new exhibit, hosted 2 bus tours from the American Quilt Study Group, and finished my new Fall Collection!! Yay! Tonight was the First Friday for October, and the unveiling at (not on the) Corner Framing Gallery.

I had 27 new pieces, and this time I did a line of knits....I used T shirts, as well as cotton sweaters, and I'm really excited about how they came out! I'll be taking pictures tomorrow, because there were just too many people in the way this evening, which is a good thing!

For the soiree, I ordered 3 dozen gourmet cupcakes from the amazing Nicole; I asked her for something related to my line, and here's what she did:
aren't they fabulous? There weren't ANY left....luckily I stole 2 before the crowds arrived and stuck them in the freezer for my daughter, since she's at college. Here is Nicole, modelling the top she bought, it's called the Harvest Moon top, and, well, no I did not register that it's actually a SUN until someone pointed it out!
Silly me, I'm such a moon girl, don't ya know!

Anyway, I had the most fun ever with this line, and I promise more pics tomorrow!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sewing Room Re-Organization - Part Two

It has been, what, 10 days since I dragged all the !&*(% from my sewing room and dumped it in the living room. Since then, I've worked, visited my daughter at college, and picked at the piles of stuff. It's been harder to work on this week, since we're still waiting for our electricity to come back on, but I do have an hour or so in the morning before I go to work where there is enough daylight to see what I'm doing.

Here are some photos of my living room as of today....the couch is clear! The chairs are at least visible, and you can now get from the kitchen to the hallway without fearing for your life, even in the dark!

The sewing room got a bit of a rearrangement, and may yet again, I haven't settled on a layout yet, but you can still see the floor, you can open AND shut the door completely, and once the power comes back on it will be much easier to sew!