Thursday, March 28, 2013

Anchors Away

It felt good to have a little bit of art time and a little bit of sewing time today. I came up with a new sketch for another zippered something, tote, pouch, clutch? Haven't decided yet.  But, I think the sketched bird is going to look very cute once I finish him up on some fabric. 

Today, though, I concentrated my efforts on an anchor slouchy tote. I've had this anchor in my mind, I have wanted to try it on a chevron piece for a while. I sketched out my vision, fingers crossed that it would turn out something like my vision.

Got the girls off to school, not without incident. Miss M. forgot her homework at home and we had to make a mad dash back home to find it.  Once the little and I got back, I got him all settled and we worked together on some art. Me with my paints and fabric, him with the markers and paper.

You'll see my new zipper install that I love! Anyone want a tutorial on it? I'm sure there are a bunch of tutorials out there about it. I absolutely LOVE how finished it looks with that little added rectangle of fabric.

Anyway, tomorrow is brew day for hubs. He's been waiting ever so patiently for his first day of "creative" play for months now.

So enjoy my picture process and be sure to leave a comment if there is a tutorial you'd like me to put together for you.

Have a wonderful evening, my friends!
♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

 The start to the design. First penciled in, then I used a black fabric marker to make it more bold and then the acrylic paints.

The completed anchor, heat set and ready for some sewing magic!

Here, I've installed the zipper on one side and you can see the rectangle of fabric that I've been talking about. When you attach all the sides, you either let that area go upwards in the stitch or downwards, and your finished product is much more professional looking.

I wanted to add a touch of femininity so I took some funky Batik paisley fabric and made a large bow. It looks off in this picture because I had it pinned down so as not to interfere with my zipper stitching.

I pieced everything all together and then it was time to decide on the handles. My lovely friends Paurenia and Lori, on QJB suggested rope and I was thinking right along the same lines.  So I got out my rope that has been packaged up ever so neatly and got to work on the handles.

I wanted a strong stitch but I didn't want to knot it and have that bulky somewhat unsightly look so I thought, why not a macrame knot for a more finished appearance, and strong hold too.  Tapered off the macrame and braided to the other side so it's comfortable on the shoulders.

The final product was together and ready for pictures and ready to be listed to the world on Etsy.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


You know what happens when your husband comes home after 2 1/2 months away?? Things like daily blog posts, sewing, beading, cleaning all take a back seat to some much needed quality family time!

My hubs came home on Saturday night. Since then we've got stuck in the rain in Honolulu, celebrated the little guys 3rd birthday, took pics near Hanauma Bay, took the kiddos on a 2 mile walk to Makapu'u Point Trail and just relaxed out back in our little slice of tropical paradise.  But not to worry, I haven't given up creating completely.  I've been busy with a few bracelets and this morning, I finished an original art piece on a zippered flap clutch which I also listed on Etsy

What I learned from making this zippered clutch is by adding 2 little squares of fabric on the ends of the zipper, the finishing job to a zippered pouch is MUCH more professional that that weird angled finish I would get without it.  So, I'm going to be making a tutorial within the next couple of days about adding this so called fabric squares to your zippers!

Until then, I hope all you lovely people have been well and happy. Keep creating!!

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Interrupting this regularly broadcasted facebook update...

I am ashamed to admit this, but much to my dismay, I cannot post anything on Facebook this morning. I figured I didn't write here yesterday so this is my back up plan! Haha.

Tuesday was a wonderful day, a busy day, which is always good when you want time to pass a little more quickly. A friend from Japan and her daughters came to the house, we had lunch together and we had a little bit of crafting time. Crafting time is always fun for me, but it was fun to actually "teach" a little bit of what I know. Maybe I'll make this more of a routine.  Perhaps with a tutorial for everyone once I figure out how to post videos. Of course, I first need to figure out how to make a video that wont want to make you run to the bathroom to hurl your food from being so motion sick!!

I thought I was pretty good at video taking but after taking a home tour video for another friend I realized I am quite inexperienced with the whole video thing.  I'll keep trying, I never give up!

Anyway, while I had my crafting time with friends, my friend mentioned something to me about my things coming out a bit more artistic and I really started thinking about it.  I think what helps me is that I am really not super organized. That's weird right? But I truly think this helps. For instance, with my beads, I LOVE them, all of them but basically, they are all jumbled up together in a big bowl. This isn't a bad thing for me because what happens, is that I can see how the beads work together before I even start stringing them. For others, those who are more organized then me, maybe this is a frightening nightmarish way to do things, but it works for me. What is important about being creative is that you find what works for YOU.

I did decide, however, that I needed to be a tad more organized. So yesterday, I took some Mochi ice cream containers, some baby food plastic containers and went to work. To stay true to my "chaotic jumbled this works for me mess", I separated by color only.

After a day of fun in the sun with the kids yesterday, I sat down at my jewelry table, my mental haze lifted, and went to work on this piece...which I am trying to upload to Facebook and I just cannot right now.   We'll see what today brings!! Until then though, stay creatively blessed!

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Soaring High

 I've been so inspired by the music of The Piano Guys this morning. I would love to see them in concert some day but it doesn't appear that Hawaii is in their schedule for quite some time. Their music just gives you a sense of freedom, and passion. I wanted to recreate those feelings this morning and I thought a little bit of artwork on fabric might help express those feelings.  Took out my fabric, my paints, my pens and went to work.

I came up with a dragonfly zippered clutch. I used the colors of spring, the colors of hope and inspiration. Diluting the paints a bit I was able to get a watercolor and dye sort of effect.  I just cut the fabric and see what it turns into after the design. It ended up being a 7.5" x 11" x 2" clutch.

V is sitting at the table creating her own design now. A sweet little bird on one side, flying away on the other side. I'll share pictures when she is finished.  And now, I need to prepare for a fun crafty afternoon with friends.  So until tomorrow, have a beautiful afternoon, evening, night, where ever these words should be expressing themselves in this world.

Ready to create, coffee, paints, pens and a bit of warm sun shine seeping in.

 The design and the color.

The finished product

Music Love

As I was trying to fall asleep last night, the glow of my phone kept me up long enough to re-discover why I enjoy "The Piano Guys" so much.  The Cello player is so enthralled, so taken by his music. If we could all find a zone of peacefulness in something that we do, we'd all be so happy! Enjoy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Angelic Abstract

My Mom came to visit us in Hawaii for 1 month. She's a full time artist in New England and I absolutely adore all of her work. Being that Hawaii is beyond inspirational in every way imaginable, she came equipped with paints, brushes and rolled canvas.   She left me this beautiful Angelic Abstract and it's been sitting, staring at me daily, calling for me to do SOMETHING with it.  She and I talked about collaborating with a tote bag project. Today, I decided it was time to tackle this project, just in time for her birthday.

I whipped out some interior fabric options, rotary cutter, cutting board, and the painting itself and I just started measuring and cutting.  My fear were the handles. I felt if I used the interior fabric, it would take away from the painting. The neutral fabrics I have well the fibers did not match up in my opinion. So I sat on the floor and thought, what do I do?  As I looked around my sewing area, what do I see but another rolled canvas that I have been using as my picture backdrops. LIGHTBULB!

Cut up 2 handles from that canvas and then I went to work.  I'm so excited with how this turned out. It is 15 1/2" wide, 16 1/2" high, 4" deep and the handle drop is 8".  The canvas is heavy duty 15oz. triple treated and painted with acrylics. It's such a fun piece.

I'm sending it back to Massachusetts for possible gallery exposure and maybe we'll have a Mom and Daughter art boutique soon!  Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming!!

One more thing of business....Announcing the winner of the Jewelry Catch-all: LISA G. Lisa, I'll be contacting you for address info today. Congrat's and I hope you love your new piece!! I loved the participation in the giveaway and I'll be hosting another real soon.  Just make sure to follow along on threads & pencils for details.  

So until next time friends, have a creatively wonderful day!  And don't forget to check out the beautiful works of artist: Nella Lush she is a highly respected artist in New England and featured at several galleries throughout New England.

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą  

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Thinking of my sailor today, he'll be home soon! Excited beyond measure, as are our children! The little guy turns 3 years old the day Daddy comes home and I keep telling him he gets the best birthday gift EVER! He returns the excitement and anticipation with his silly grin, squinting eyes and wrinkled nose.

I thought it was only appropriate today, being on the topic of Sailors, to try another sailors weave bracelet.

This time around, I used a cotton rope, the same kind that you find in the DIY section of Home Depot, made of cotton, used for blinds or Roman Shades.   I also wanted to incorporate a bit of tie-dye nylon I found at Benjamin Franklin Craft Store.

Here is what I used:

My wrist is a little on the big side I think, about 6 1/2" around and this Dasani bottle worked perfectly for my size wrist.  I have also used a baby food jar to make these bracelets.
 I follow the directions in my book, but for a good online tutorial on how to make a sailors bracelet, check out More Design Please's Blog.

Here is my bracelet:

I really wanted to make it a little bit funky, in retrospect I probably should have just let it be natural, but I took that red bottle of spray dye and started spraying away at this piece. In turn, it is sort of funky but a little too splotchy for my liking. 

Did you like that effect of it on the Hibiscus plant?? Nice color coordination right? Haha, at least something turned out kind of cool. So I wait for the dye to set and got a little distracted and snapped a few shots of Miss M. with some bracelets I have made for her:

With the dye set, I set in to make this piece yet more funky with the dyed nylon pieces. I weaved the nylon throughout the sailors bracelet and Ta-DA! Here is what I got:

Not too shabby. Next time, I wont use the dye but I might use a piece of raggedy scrap fabric. I adore this one that I've seen on Pinterest, which also belongs to Under the Sycamore's Blog.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Feeling a Little bit Knotty!

I have had this leather cording sitting around in my supplies and I've never truly worked up the courage to use it. I look at it, admire the metallic sheen on the brown, the pop of purple, the subtle gray but ask me to make something out of it and I'd just look at you like you have 10 heads. Seriously.

But last night, over a cup of tea, Grey's Anatomy and my floor....I said "What the heck!" Pulled it out and started experimenting and OH MY, was it ever fun!!

So today, while I watched the children gallivant around the backyard, I sit here with my leather, buttons and beads and knotty the afternoon away!

Loving this fancy knot. It gets a little frustrating to get the circles to match up but once they do, I'm as giddy as a child hopped up on a pound of candy.

Until my next creative happening, have a wonderful Friday night (◡‿◡✿)

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Overcoming creative distance

Have you ever taken a break from something for a while? You go back to "it" with some trepidation or fear? That's what happened to me this morning.

My sewing machine and I had a stare off for about 10 minutes. I have been working on a t-shirt for a few days now. I wanted it to be more than the usual t-shirt. Knowing my girls, so do they. So, I designed it and then took the leap of faith that I could figure out what to do with it, after I cut off the neck and the sleeves.

Walked over the my fabric supply closet, pulled out a jersey knit and thought, I need to use a special "foot" for this but which did I use?  Went back over to my sewing table, looked through my presser feet and found THE ONE.  Oh yes, the big chunky, slightly scary, takes a little manuevering presser foot.  My nice friends reminded me that it's called a "Walking Foot."

I attached that scary thing and continued on with my project.  Cut a piece of striped jersey knit, used my straight stitch spaced wide to make a soft ruffle and attached that to the bottom of the t-shirt.  Time to tackle the neck and sleeves (well, the holes that I made when I removed the sleeves that is!)  What is so great about the walking foot is because it feeds the fabric evenly, you don't get the pulled look on the jersey knits. So I was able to hem the neck and sleeves without any problem.

Isn't that such a cool contraption? Look at it eating my jersey knit so smooth and effortlessly! 

I thought about adding this striped knit to the sleeves and making a sort of flutter sleeve, but I gathered the shoulder seem instead and made it more of a tank top, which makes this more of a sundress.

My beauty is at school right now but when she gets home I'll take a photo of her with her new getup. She will probably need to put leggings as I dare say, the knit is slightly sheer. But she'll be looking all Punky-brewster-ish with her new attire! 

So, as I wait for school to end, I'll share some more of what I did today. Have a beautiful day everyone!

And School has ended, here is the final product. It's OK, I do need to work on making the sleeveless area a little less revealing next time, thank goodness for undershirts!

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą


I was a little bummed with this project.  I designed the interior fabric, thought it would make a really cool keep-all and I paired it with this Premier Prints snazzy fabric from my fabric stash. But after I put it all together I realized that a portion of the white on the P.P. fabric had a stain that I just could not get out. SO, this has turned into my new fabric pen keep all!

And, I tried my hand at a simple wire wrapping this morning and I came up with these sweet, ever so feminine earrings!