September is National Sewing Month

Whatcha waiting for!

Google Reader - I Love you!

For those of you who don't wear a "G" for geeky google girl on you personal letterman jacket like I do, here is a cool google feature you may not be aware of.

Google Reader will save you loads of time and clean up your email box, bookmarked blogs and desktop, it might even save you some money cause you won't have to print every cool blog image you find. Before I discovered Google Reader I either received email updates from my favorite blogs or I book marked them and hoped I could find the time to hop around or I printed the post. Reader changes all that.

The cool thing about reader is you can add a subscription to any blog you like and when you go to reader it is all there and you can easily scroll down a list of new blog posts. If you were at my house I could show you how to do this super easy but I found a tutorial online that should help.

Once you get all good to go with Reader you will notice that each blog entry has a list of things you can do with the post, one of them is "share" them or email them with your gmail account. When you share a blog post google has a secret page they create that lists all of your fav post. This is really a great thing cause I will see a cool project or idea and then lose it, now I add it to my shared items and I can always find it. Here is my shared page.

Google reader enable me to actually enjoy reading all the blogs that I love in half the time it used to take. I love it but please don't email me questions google has a great help page.

Thoughtful Friday

I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.
Thomas Merton

Peace Crane Update

We have started making Origami Cranes and we are getting good at it. I am enlisting help and learning new Origami folds all the while. I used my AccuCut to cut about 800 5 inch squares from some excellent road Atlas Books I found at our local Book Nook.

Charcoal Man Plushie

I made my first Plushie. It was great fun. I have wanted to play with childsafe eyes for ever and my Indie Art Class at Scad gave me a valid (Class Supplies) reason to order some. I was inspired by a cool book I recently got Invasion of the Plush Monsters. I was a bit more free form the night of the class, but here he is. My personal Charcola Bricket.

My hubby think he should be renamed after the cavity residing in our 7 year olds mouth.

Super Simple Napkins with Matching Rings

There are about as many different way to make napkins as there are people. I was using a cool paneled fabric so I made mine a bit bigger than normal, 20 inch square.


Cut 2 fabric placed them RST, sewed up all sides leaving a small gap. turn and top stitched.

Coordinating Napkin Ring

Cut a 2 inch by 20 inch strip, RST , sew long edge, turn and slid onto a shower curtain ring, slip stitch closed.




Paper Stencil Screen Printing

My Hubby and I are taking an Indie Art Class at SCAD as our date night and one of the things we did was some power screen printing.

We were working start to finish in a 2 hour class so I cut out insects using out AccuCut to make stencils for the screens. We were kinda on fire, we made about 10 yards of fabric and 4 tee shirts for my oldest (wee one had already grabbed her American Apparel shirts and they were nowhere to be seen the night of the class).

Here are some super simple instruction (with the assumption you have screen printed previously and own a screen)

Cut out your stencil, we used standard issue white art paper from Dick Blick. The areas that are paper will block the ink. Try not to make your self crazy with really complicated designs.

Lay your stencil down on a trash surface (newspaper)

Lay your screen on top of your stencil

Put ink in the top area of your screen

Squeegee your ink down ( I make 2 passes). The ink will hold your stencil in place.

Carefully pull up your screen (this is easier if you have it in a hinged screen printing holder)

Toss your trash paper and place your tee shirt or fabric down on a slightly padded surface (for tee shirts make sure you have a barrier between the front and the back so the ink does not bleed through)

I have made 15 passes with the paper stencil before it starts to degrade. The best thing about paper stencils (and what we were doing during our power print class) is that you can change them out really fast, just pull the paper off and lay down a new stencil. Keep your colors similar or change them slightly and then clean it all up when you are done. We had a blast and I can't wait to try again.

Kraftwork - ICE

Once again, Atlanta will have a monthly infusion of indie craft!
If you've been missing Young Blood Gallery & Boutique's monthly indie art and craft market, it's back with a bang! Young Blood has teamed up with the Indie Craft Experience to bring you this fabulous event. From now on, ICE & Young Blood will be previewing artists' work to make sure there is a great balance of items to shop for, which will be a win/win for both vendors and shoppers. There will be a $20 application fee which will allow us to promote the event. There will be 15 vendors each month and each vendor will have a 4' x 6' space.

The market will continue to be held on the first Thursday of each month from 7-10 p.m. The first Kraftwork in Young Blood's new space will take place on Thursday, September 4th. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, August 27.

Interested in being a vendor? Go to the Indie Craft Experience website for detailed instructions on how to apply.

Information copied from

Promiscuous Crafting

Have you ever felt unfaithful to your craft. I am easy and I love it. This year I attempted to maintain a monogamous relationship with sewing. Staying faithful to one craft is beyond difficult. I wander occasionally (weekend affairs) but I try to bring it back to fabric quickly (or at least fiber). This week I fell off the wagon in a big way. I may have fallen earlier this month but was in denial until I found myself paying for 12 new ceramic molds on ebay yesterday and new die cuts for my Accucut on Monday. Some of my promiscuity is the fault of my Indie Craft Teacher, Shannon and some of it is returning to school and getting excited about sharing new stuff with my students. Who ever I am blaming it on, no one was forcing me to spend hours looking for a doll molds and ending up with 3 owls, two angels, a Buddha, two virgin Mary, a chess set and a couple of other ceramic molds.

What in the world am I doing? I am making Holiday gifts and creating 2 coffins for the Day of the Dead show at Young Blood Gallery. Also, in my lame defense, there are 10 boxes of stone ware slip in my storage unit and I need to use it up. So yesterday after paying way more for shipping then the actual molds (there were mostly under 5.00 but they all weigh about 20 pounds each). I went out to the shed and opened up a new bag of slip to make sure it was okay. It is a bit lumpy and thick, I may actually have to sieve it! Super Pain! All 10 boxes are there waiting. I am embarrassed to say the slip was originally purchase in a different decade, so kudos to the packaging, since it is still usable.

I think it is difficult for me to be monogamous to one craft because, well the first line says it all. I am a promiscuous crafter. I started crafting early, my family made those weird dolls as part of a home employment network (ours was a couple of folks in a hot air balloon). In high school I made very cute items that my teachers loved to buy and I did cross stitch for a local publication. I left CRAFT behind to become an ARTIST in college. My first degree is in Photography, my second is in Art Education with a minor in Ceramics & Printmaking. I am now a crafty artist, I am beyond rehabilitation but I am usually in the program. Stay tuned for updates on my ceramics folly.

Thoughtful Friday

We do not exist for ourselves.
Thomas Merton

Apple Orchard Overalls GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Apple Orchard Overalls GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Yet another adorable outfit from Grosgrain. Pop over to visit her blog and get a chance to win.

Potholders with Layers

I loved the Criss Cross Coasters so much I made a set of trivets / potholder. I used the same idea as the coaster this time instead of 5 inch squares I used 10 inch circles. This ia a perfect layer cake project.

I found another tutorial that made circle Winey-Coasters that are very similar but smaller.

Garden Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Garden Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Selvages - Block 1

Here is my second official block in the Selvages series by Moda. The first block was a filler 9 patch. These patterns are included in your order, along with a complimentary fat quarter. There is a new block pattern every month.

This block uses the new Paintbox Series from Lonni Rossi.

Kid Size Paper making

I am a really bad mom and I don't share. My girls want to make paper but I get frustrated showing them how to work my larger screens and the big vat of pulp, SOOO I was really excited when I was perusing the clearance toys are at Target last week and stumbled upon a truly cool toy.

National Geographic™ Paper Recycling Kit

Wow -- What fun. I won't give this a glowing review because, well it is a toy and not everything works great BUT the girls had a blast swirling already pulped recycled paper thought the hand crank blender and the deckled screens did work really well and are just the right size for little people. I think I might have struggled if I did not know a bit about paper making, the pulp did not want to couch off the screen easily and modifications were made. I wish I had been able to find two of them because patience is not a four year olds virtue.


I just received my prize for the Summer Doldrum Contest hosted by Dot of Dabbled. Very excited about the honor and love the elephant purse.

Thoughtful Friday

~ Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony ~Thomas Merton

Photo By Chris Verene

Thoughtful Friday at Bella Dia

International Peace Day - September 21

September 21 is the 50th anniversary of International Peace Day and to celebrate we are creating an installation of 1000 (or more) Origami cranes. This idea is part of the Children's Peace Movement and was originally inspired by a young Japanese girl who died of leukemia after being exposed to the A bomb. My children and I are reading Saduko 1000 Paper Cranes together and talking about the importance of peace.

Please join us as we take 1000 moments to reflect on inner peace and our hopes for world peace. As the cranes begin to accumulate I will post additional images.

If you have never made an Origami crane it is easy and there are great web instruction.

Thoughtful Friday

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
Thomas Merton

New Charms

We just received a bunch of great new charm packs form Moda. If you are not sure what to do with them Moda had a free tutorial that might help.

Magoo & Monkey

This past weekend I ran away to my mom's house. Odd choice, right. Well, when your mom has an uber clean sewing room with a view and she is willing to let you bring friends and even cooks for you, then it is the perfect spot to run away to. My mom hosts small sewing retreats out of her house in Blue Ridge GA, so she is a great mom to have (there are other reasons;0).

Anywho, I packed up a bag of projects and a change of clothes and sent the girls to stay with their other grandma. Man, I live the life.

Of course I brought more than I could ever finish in 48 hours even if I never slept, I finished a few things and I had a few visitors.

Saturday morning at 7:00am my little brother showed up and wanted to sew. He looked through my bag of tricks and pulled out the Melly & Me pattern for a monkey named Magoo. He did not approve of my fabric choices, so he raided my mom's stash and hopped into tracing off the pattern. He is a bit of a hoot when it comes to sewing, he does not understand the need for a consistent seam allowance. I think he understands now. He did not want to read the pattern but soon fired me as the teacher cause I kept skipping important steps. He ended up with some skinny arms and legs on his Magoo.

To be honest I was a bit driven to finish a quilt. This quilt is a complete stash buster, I used the new ruler from Cozy Quilt (we should have them after the first of September) cut a bunch of 2.5 stripes from our remnant box and dashed out this quilt during my mini retreat. I started and finished the zippered pouch kit I received at Moda U in July ( I did a horrible job, I skipped a couple of steps on this too and had to unsew, very messy but I will revisit it). Lastly, I finished the pillowcase I posted on Monday.

Late Saturday afternoon, a good friend of mine came up to sew, she finished 2 tops, cut out a third and traced off some cute Ottbre rompers for her new nephew. Her top is a Jalie pattern made from our dotted Rayon Poly Lycra.

We had a rocking good time.

Pillowcase Tutorial

My mom wrote up these super great instructions for making a pillow case. I love this pattern because it is such a great stash buster and every one love a personalized pillow case. The example was made for a challenge to create an embroidered sampler.

I embroidered the cuff with a quote for the craftster challenge. I just printed it out on my computer them traced it.

Super Simple Pillow Cases
Fabric Standard King
Main 1 yard (non directional) 1 1/8
Border piece 1/3 1/3
Accent piece 1/8 1/8

Cut three pieces of fabric: main, border and accent.
Fabric Standard King
Main 27 x 41 37 x 41
Border piece 12 x 41 12 x 41
Accent piece 3 x 41 3 x 41

Cutting Instructions:
If your main fabric is directional you will need to use 1 1/8 yards of fabric (41 inches). The design should read correctly on the 27 inch side.
Sewing Instructions:
1. Lay your border fabric (12 x 41) face up on your worktable. Make sure you have a long enough table to lay the piece out completely.
2. Lay your main fabric (27 x 41) face up on top or your border fabric. Match the raw edges on the long side. Pin together in a few places.
3. Press your accent (3 x 41) in half lengthwise, with the right side faces out. Lay the folded accent piece on top of your stack (main, border) and match up the raw edges. When you flip you fabric at a corner you should see the right sides of all of your fabrics. Pin together all of the raw edges.
4. Carefully take the stack to your sewing machine and baste together the raw edges using a very scant _ inch seam.
5. Check and make sure you caught all of your raw edges.
Okay stick with me cause we are in the home stretch.
6. Carefully roll up the main fabric. Pin the roll to keep it out of your way.
7. Bring the bottom edge of the border piece (12 x 41) up to the basted raw edge. Over the roll of main fabric. You are now looking at the wrong side of the fabric.
8. Take a minute to pin the edge and then baste all of the raw edges together. Check and make sure you did not catch the main fabric in the seam. Using a serger, serge down the raw edge again, finishing the edge. Using a serger reduces the bulk but if you don’t have one just return to a normal stitch length and sew about a _ inch seam.
9. Carefully, cause there are pins in the main fabric, turn your tube from wrong side to right side. You are almost done.
10. Finger press the pillowcase edge. Optional-For a crisp look press the seam between the main fabric and the border fabric and sew a thin top stitch on the accent edging.
11. Placing right sides together, match up the top and the seam and sew the sides and bottom of the pillowcase. I used a serger but my mom like to make a French seam.


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