Friday, December 16, 2011

Ugly Sweater Party

For our bookclub holiday party this year, the hosts came up with the idea that is sweeping the nation...the ugly sweater party!! Unfortunately, this gem of crafty goodness was thrown in with my other crafts in December and due nearly on the same day!! But how often do you get the chance to make something truly, madly, ugly...on purpose?! I tried to go the ugly route, but I couldn't do it, something in my crafty genes wouldn't allow it. So instead I found my inner Gaga diva and went for tacky. If a little shine is good, a WHOLE lot of shine is great, right?!?

The party was a blast, and those who participated, ahem, really turned it out. The other participants were more old school with their approach and went with things that had been actually worn/made by someone without the intent of irony. Not so with my disco ball approach to sparkle it up. I even went the extra mile to make a hair accessory. Watch out project accessory, if you sponsor a "tacky" challenge, you might have competition in me. Of course, I had to stay true to my roots of reusing whenever possible, so...I found this sparkly cardigan and sewed on a swath of RED stretch sequins along the front all the way around the collar and back down, and then both cuffs.

The part that made the sweater had to be the glittered poinsettias I scored at the dollar store. I had 3 but the sweater was so small, I really couldn't find a good place for the 3rd one, which is why I made it into a hair accessory...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilt Fest 2011!

Hey Reader!

I know for some, just reading the word "quilt" makes people want to sleep under one. But HELLO, those people aren't reading my blog. :-) If you are one of those people, take a no-doz and soldier on.

Last week, Houston hosted the International Quilt Festival, the largest show of its kind in the U.S., insanity!! This insightful documentary captures some of the awesomeness that is the IQF. But, in the same way that you can't put Baby in the corner, you also can't fully capsulize the world that is IQF in a mere 72 minutes, but you sure can try.

So naturally, my friend Selina and I had to go and check it out for ourselves...for a second year in a row! Thanks to another friend, Elizabeth, who has friends in high places, we were hooked up with tickets, although, truth be told, we would be just as happy to fork over the $10 for admission if we had to!

This fest takes over the convention center from end to end, taking up (seemingly) every last square foot of the 1.2 MILLION there. Hey, quilts take up space, and quilters need their elbow room. To my untrained eye, it seemed as though there was a general 70% of the space dedicated to companies selling their wares and 30% which was the display space of the entrants that made the cut to show at the IQF. Shopping and a museum all in one. Shopping until you drop, which we also did.

And I am crazy for pictures, so here are a couple of my all time fav's from this year...

Electric Faerie of the Getty Garden by Sheila Frampton-Cooper
 I love the way the colors just POP against the bright white.

And this one was my all time fav... I can smell the cheery cherry blossoms!!
Sakura Sakura by Hiroko Miyama

The detail is just amazing!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Price Points

Price Points

Just a little something I made drawing inspiration from the fab CheapChicas' Liliana Vasquez who has a recurring feature on the Nate Show.... Bank or Bargain. :)

I didn't mix it up like she does, but you get the idea. I have the patience to browse the web, but there's no telling how long it would take me to find it in real life like she does.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Miss-take free

So as you may or may not remember, I unsuccessfully tried to visit the Missoni Pop Up Shop during FNO. While I am nowhere near a die hard fashionista, I am more of an interested bystander. I think it would be nice to have something cute from this collection, but it isn't a MUST for me. Anyway, my BFF Melinda's birthday just went around the corner, and I was racking my brain and my craft stash for card ideas when it hit me....I need to do a Missoni inspired card.

With my trusty computer, cricut, and sure cuts a lot, and paper stash, I was good to go. I settled on the sine wave curve (ya know, from math class?) and used that as my foundation. I also knew I had to include the iconic designer's M from their logo, and coupled with the fact that it is for Melinda, it was too perfect to pass up.

I cut out my envelope using a template from Judikins, and as fate would have it, the pattern is herringbone, which is very Missoni-like. I reused an envelope when I made this new one, and for the 'body' of the card, I repurposed a file folder. :)

I haven't sent this off yet, so please don't tell the birthday girl!! I know I can trust you!!

An EXTREME closeup of the envelope:

now the card....
and now....both!

Fix a flat

So, no trip to visit my NY family is ever complete without some major crafting. This trip was no exception. While shopping at Costco, I noticed these huge 4'x4' squares of plain, unprinted cardboard placed between the layers of the diaper boxes and such. )The kind of cardboard that cereal boxes are made out of.) And since it was Costco, packaging is a free for all. We picked up 2 with a loose idea of tracing my nieces for a life sized paper doll.

Once we explained the plan to my nieces, they were totally on board. on cardboard, that is! But really, they were troopers and held perfectly still as we traced their outlines and patiently waited as I cut their 'flat' versions out.

Next, we raided the scrap fabric bag to come up with the perfect outfits for them to 'wear' which turned out supercute, if I do say so myself. Thank goodness for hot glue and it's super stickability! My mom came up with the great idea of running a hand basted stitch to make the skirt ruffle, made it even more lifelike!

Thuriffic Thursday

Thuriffic Thursday

So...a couple of weeks ago, I was on vacation in NYC and was able to attend the taping for the Anderson show! The show hadn't started airing yet, but those full page ads in the magazines had nothing on me, I wasn't going to miss a chance to see one of my FAVs, Anderson Cooper. Of course the topic of the show wasn't revealed to us, so we were genuinely suprised when the main guest was another one of my favs Kathy Griffin! It was pretty awesome, even if we were most likely the shortest 3 audience members sitting in the last row behind tall people. That is what dvr's are for, people. AC was just like you (or I) had imagined him to be, really personable, taking questions/comments during the downtime; and explaining the basics of the production process of a big time talk show. :) As if being in the audience for what turned out to be the second episode wasn't enough, we also received a CD to the broadway musical 'how to succeed in business w.o trying' and 2 tix to the wax museum. The silver fox of CNN was made by the madame tussaud people. Alas, I didn't have time to go to the museum that week, which is just as well since I would have been most interested in seeing his wax alter ego there, and it didn't make a debut until the following week. ah. tv magic. Unfortunately, unlike my Martha audience experience, they were more vigilant about the no camera policy and I didn't get a chance to take any pictures inside the studio. :/

Here's what his studio overlooks, Columbus Circle...

Anyway, later on that night, my sister and I hit FNO (Fashion Night Out 2011) we thought we would check out the pop-up Target/Missoni store. We walzed/cabbled it over leisurely around 8pm only to find that the line was literally around the block. It was so long, we couldn't see the end of it! The next day, the paper said it was 400 people long, and some people had been waiting online (that is the way new yorkers talk) since noon for the 6pm opening. Well, even people who live under a rock (or on the east side in a deluxe apartment in the sky, like my sister) knew what a zoo the Missoni Shop created, and the rest is history. We hit H&M which had a live dj and Zara which also had one who had packed up before we got there.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm with the (book)band

Happy September!!

On this, the first day of September, and a day closer to the end of this blistering hot Texas summer and drought (hopefully) I come bearing tidings of a new collaboration/invention to share!!

So, picture it, our bookclub is celebrating our 6th anniversary and Selina and I know that we have to do something to top last year’s awesome (if I do say so myself) 5th anniversary bags. So this time, we thought small, kept the elements of silk screening on cloth, and took it to the next level, because that is just the kind of crazy craft-inistas that we are.

Selina came up with the tag line…which is so good that I can’t waste it here—yet. And we brainstormed on a way to incorporate it into our project. Originally, we thought a button badge type thing, but the hardware for a good set was too far out of our price range. Then we moved on to buttons, (called cover buttons) like the cloth covered kind that you can use for diy projects. I didn't even know these existed!! The idea was to (make the silkscreen first) then silkscreen  the quote onto the cloth, then cover the button…then to thread a length of elastic through to make a loop and sew together. Viola, a headband for your book to mark pages! Ingeniously (not) called a bookband!

Some tips to remember...
When silk screening, we found that the tighter the weave, the better
and for the cover buttons, a less stretchy fabric works better as well, your print won't be crooked.

Of course, none of this came together easily, we like to try things out the hard way first just to make sure we aren't missing evidenced in the pix with the rejects...
Last night was the party and they were a hit. yay!!
my proud of it. the 4th time was a charm this time.

We tried it with yellow ink, but it wasn't as readable as the black..

the tools of the trade

the finished product

All wrapped up and ready to go..

And don't miss Selina's post on our craft!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Musings on muses from the interweb

Hey there, Reader!!

Call it what you will, blogger's block, PR fever,  humid 100+ degree summer days, or some combination thereof. I was thoroughly inspired by the seemingly limitless supply of talented bloggers and the blogs they lovingly tend to on the interweb.

My latest muses are notmartha and alisaburke (the latter just discovered by Pintobean herself just hours ago). I was in awe of the amazing floor that alisaburke painted, and from her site I discovered colourlovers which I of course had to promptly join. OH WHAT A SITE! (to be sung in your head to the tune of 'oh what a night!') Ah, the gadgets they have are making me run out of superlatives...a color palette maker, a pattern maker, OH THE PATTERNS...Easily, a place I can lose myself in for hours.

Then I had a yen for my beloved polyvore, but couldn't remember my pw. So I created a new account at shopstyle. I didn't find it as user friendly as pv, but in all fairness, I haven't spent much time on it as of yet.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

buttoned up

buttoned up

This is my fantasy set if I could walk in these espadrille wedges, you can see, I'm still a bit of a realist, b/c I also included those cute flats so I could at least get where I was going, and then switch to the wedges!! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrate good times...come on

I'm trying out my first submission to a card challenge, it is with C.A.S.-ual Fridays which has recurring challenges, I'm assuming on Fridays! Hee hee. (C.A.S. stands for Clean And Simple Designs) Anyway, I found some really inspiring card crafters via their site, and I decided to take the plunge and make one too. This week's challenge was to combine 3 elements of your choice from a tic tac toe board to create a card. Here's mine, I combined gems, punches, and flowers.

The gems were from paperstudio, as was the cardstock. The punch was a Martha Stewart flower punch, and I had some ribbon that coordinated nicely with my 'celebrate' acrylic stamp, inked up with my colorbox red ink.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

day @ the beach

As promised previously.... :)

CALYPSO ST BARTH beaded dress
$365 -

Antik Batik dressy sandals
$225 -

MICHAEL Michael Kors crocodile handbag
175 GBP -

H M metal jewelry
1.99 GBP -

Laurent Gandini butterfly earrings
$1,680 -

J Crew wool shawl
$60 -

the smoking glue gun

I awoke to find a message from the craft mafia urging me in no uncertain terms to update my blog. Well, it certainly worked to clear my blogger's-block. I'm just glad they didn't resort to mutilate my glue gun to get the message across a la "The Godfather" and the horse's head. (though I've never seen the movie, I still understand the message!!)

So here goes...the following combine some of my favorite things, a couple of which are graphic design, and themes/mood boards.

I have found there are some things on the internet that people just don't tell you about, you have to find out for yourself. Pinterest and Polyvore are just 2 such things. In the (my) world of craft, these have blown me away. But I'm going to share...

Pinterest lets you 'pin' photos of things that you like or find interesting somehow.

Polyvore is an amped up Pinterest where you can create mood boards with the entire internet (or anything you upload) at your disposal.

I've done this mood board type crafting before with scissors, paper, and glue, and let me just say that Polyvore is AMAZING. I always felt limited by the magazines I had on hand, and then not being able to keep track of what it was I had cut out for future reference. Sure, Polyvore is geared as a shopping site, but it is soooo much more. My secret ambition to be a graphic designer can practically come true. You must try it, but be aware, you will become addicted, just as I have, and you will be a polyvore adorer too. Read on to see my attempt at a polyvore 'set' page.

Party like a soon-to-be-6-year-old

So, just when I thought the uber crafting was done for the month, I got a phone call to serve as the crafty ringer for my dear niece's 6th bday party. While they live far far away in a secluded isle of Man(hattan), the crafty goods are goin on here in Houston, so I sprang into action.

The theme: a cooking party so we knew it had to be cute and yummy, all at the same time. My sister, (mother of bd grl...MoBDG) has the food part taken care of, thank goodness, since that isn't my bag. So it was up to me to come up with something to jazz up the chef's hats, aprons, and goody bags in time for the big day. The birthday girl also has ideas of her own, 'just suggestions' which are always welcome b/c she's a burgeoning crafter in her own right too! But I digress. She suggested we use white, red, and aqua for our color scheme. We were all over that.

And if you don't already know, my crafting passion often intersects with with my eco-obsessions, so I try to reuse whenever possible. So, it was kismet that the bridal shower from april also used RED! I made some yoyo-type flowers from left over (red/white) ribbon which will be pinned on the chef hats, and I sent those along with the ribbon so my sister can attach it to the aprons too, somehow. And, my nieces also came up with the genius idea to write "Chef ___ " on each one. So, I bought some iron-on transfer paper for that. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will work. :)