Monthly Archives: January 2008

Unique Clothes Anyway You Like

neck band Scarf Scarf

The photos are from the Japanese craft book found on eBay, buy-it-now price is $27.00. 19 Full-Scaled Patterns of Unique & Cute Clothes“.

Okay, I want it; looks like there’ll be some great ideas for wardrobe refashioning, as well as new clothes with a unique twist, between the covers of this book. Maybe there’ll still be some available after I get back from Ireland.


Ireland – Éire

Explore Ireland

I’m off to Ireland in March! I am hoping that someone from Ireland (or someone who has traveled there recently) might peek at my blog, and be willing to point me in the direction of fabric and craft shops in Dublin, Ennis, and points south of those two cities. I’ll be staying in Broadford, near Ennis, Co. Clare, with a group of women from Fairbanks, for almost three weeks (March 10-30). We would love to get together with Irish stitchers – embroidery, knitting, crocheting, quilting, felting, lace; between the six of us, we do just about any type of fiber art. I’m also looking for some sort of fiber art class to take-hopefully embroidery, but I will consider felting, lace making, a garment class, or ??

I’m keeping track of my Irish travels on the Luck o’ the Irish Traveler; you can leave comments there, or on this post.

Vintage French childrens’ book

Vintage French illustration

I found a whole slew of these wonderful illustrations via Boing Boing; vintage craft books for children. Scanned in by Patricia at Agence Eureka, there are dozens of illustrations and entire books. Be sure to check out her blog and her Flickr site. It would be fun to use a front and back illustration to make a small stuffed and embellished toy or some sort of decoration (Christmas ornament? pin?).

According to Meggiecat, Patricia “…wants you to snag and use them in your art or entertain your children“. Many thanks to Meggiecat for the additional information! And be sure to check out her blog; lots of fun things there too!

Embroidery contest

The outside lid

I’m entering my new sewing basket in this: Cheyenne of My Little Sewing Blog is running an embroidery contest. Or am I just entering the lid? hmmm… anyway, it just sounded like fun, and maybe someone will see the basket, and say “Hey, I could do that!” Inspiring others is the MOST fun 🙂

I found this out via Sew, Mama, Sew! which I really enjoy. Lots of projects and enthusiasm there!

Update: And the winner is Dawn. bummer, it’s not me! But I still have a beautiful basket, so who cares?

Art is…

What is art? How do I define it? – My own personal definition with help from a host of others. I’ll add to this as inspiration/information comes to me.

1) the piece transcends the medium – you love it even though it’s ceramic or you can see the beauty even if it’s in a medium you don’t do, don’t like

2) “…ART is anything that comes from the heart. … I see CRAFT as something that requires skill, but still hasn’t developed that unique voice that can only come from speaking through the heart.Karen Landey of IndieArts DVD Magazine, in an interview with Sister Diane of CraftyPod and DIYAlert.

3) From Sister Diane’s comment “…I believe art and craft are really the same thing: it’s the things that delight your unique soul the most, running down your arms and out your fingers into some tangible form.” Kind of the same thing as in #1, but phrased much more poetically.

4) Jude wonders why art needs to be defined; I started this post because I wanted to define it for myself, but maybe #5 is the best definition.

5) Sister Diane’s interview with Erin and Jill of Dolls For Friends has a great definition: “…When you start defining the difference between the two you begin to set one up as being better, or more valuable, than the other. …”What is Art?”. … It’s all creative expression.

okay, enough already… art is creative expression; it’s what makes me want to touch a piece or emulate it or just stare. I plan to delight in creating something to touch, to emulate, to stare at; and enjoy the process as much as the end result.

Update: another post, from Daniel W. Coburn, and be sure to read those comments too!

Latest projects

So I slept through December… eh, it’s Alaska! What else am I supposed to do?? Start taking iron pills and get up some steam, that’s what! So I worked on my new sewing basket and I am thrilled with it. So much handier than my old hussif.

sewing basket

I purchased it at our local Value Village (second hand store) for a big $2.99. It was actually in very good shape, but I didn’t like the color or the fabric. So I ripped that all off, took off the handles, removed the lid.

stripped basket

Pretty ugly… but not battered or broken. So between me, the glue gun, and my store of fabric, I transformed it into this:

The outside lid

I used a pile of fat quarters intended for a new hat to transform the top lid into a sampler of flowers, embroidery, beads, and buttons. Using one of Laurel Burch’s books for inspiration, I utilized both yoyos and simple round shapes, and made a variety of flowers. The butterfly is a purchased iron-on applique, from (you guessed it!) Value Village. The top lid is two layers: a piece of stiff tagboard, covered in fabric; topped with two pieces of quilt batting cut about an inch smaller than the lid and covered in black fabric. The fabric is turned underneath the batting, and the lace is underneath that; all of which is sewn down to the black flowered fabric.

Inside the basket, lid

The outside of the basket is covered in a black background/bright flowered Mary Englebreit fabric; it was purchased secondhand at a sale by a group of local scrapbookers. The handles are covered in ribbon from Value Village, and secured with more of the ribbon hotglued to the basket (more hot glue than I’ve ever used in my life!) and dee rings. The inside lid (another piece of tagboard covered in the black flowered Engelbreit fabric) has a triangular square of fabric to hold my glasses, a scissors holder, and a needlekeep. The needlekeep is going away; I want a needlebook instead, that I can take out of the basket. I’m also going to add a pincushion; I keep sticking pins in the eyeglass holder, so I might as well add a pincushion. The two lids were sewn together around the edge with a simple whip stitch, and the hinges are hot glued between the lids. There are two pieces of vintage twill tape hot glued to the lid and basket to keep it from flopping back too far.

Inside the basket

Inside, I used more of the black Mary Englebreit fabric and some cheery cherry fabric with a white background to make pockets for scissors, needles, seam ripper, pens, thread, needles, and all the other sewing accessories I use. The white background makes it very easy to see the inside!

And I love it! I can put a project and the embroidery thread in the basket, carry it with me, open the lid and get to work. With my old hussif, I had to have a flat place to set my hussif to make it easier to get things out. This basket can set right next to me, and I don’t need a table any more!

Here is a tutorial for making a patchwork sewing basket, from Magda of Little Thing If my recycled basket hadn’t worked out, I would have made one of these.