Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Crafting Community

This morning the YMCA was hosting an arts and crafts show.  It's the first one I've been to in a long time so I couldn't wait for Saturday to get here.  I knew it would be small so I told my husband I shouldn't be long plus it was right around the corner from our house.

When I walked in there was a lot of jewelry, Tupperware and stuff I wasn't interested in... but I am here to tell you that in this gymnasium (where they had the music way too loud) I met three amazing people.  As an artist I look for unique things, things that I've never seen done before and these three people had that.  

Daniel Wayno was the first booth that made my jaw drop.  What attracted me to his booth was the fact that he was wearing a vest made out of jump rings.  And if you've ever worked in jewelry you know how frustrating jump rings can be!  When I commented on his vest he pointed out to me that his viking Lego man had the same one on but in his size.  Wow.  He had bracelets, necklaces, earrings and anklets made out of jump rings.  All sizes and all colors.  I was fascinated by the smallest jump rings that he used and how tedious that must be.  He was extremely nice and I ended up buying one of his ever-so-small-jump-ring bracelets.  (Picture coming soon)

The second artist's name was Katherine Gonzalez.  What initially attracted me to her booth was light switch plate covers.  There was a cat cover that caught my eye.  As I was pondering this purchase I glanced over to another table of sepia photography.  As I looked closer I noticed her sign that said "Alphabet Photography".  Amazing.  All of these pictures were images of different towns and locations that seemed to form letters.  She had one in black and white but I liked the sepia much better because the letters just seemed to sneak out at you.  She had phrases like Faith, Hope and Love.  I ended up purchasing one that was personalized.  I spelled my name KIM and was able to pick out the pictures that formed these letters.  I have never seen this done and I've been doing photography for a long time. (picture coming soon).

The third lady's name was Fran Thompson.  She was actually the aunt of Daniel Wayno (the first gentleman with the jump ring vest).  What first attracted me to her booth was brightly colored fish painted on shudders.  The shudders were horizontal and two fish were facing each other kissing.  They were precious.  She was very personable and the more we talked the more intrigued I became with one of her works on the backside of her display.  It was a lighthouse that was cut out of paper.  It was very intricate and the colors just seemed to pop off the paper.  She explained to me that they were paint chips that you can get (free) at any hardware store. I loved, loved, loved it.  She told me other things she had made with paint chips on note cards for family and it was so much fun brainstorming with her.  This is why I love the crafting community, when like-minded people get together beautiful things happen.

I wish all three of you the best of luck in all of your crafting endeavors!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Perks of being creative

I am an organizational freak.  The clothes in my closet are arranged by color, my linen closet has labels on the shelves and all of my thread hangs on the wall neatly organized.  

I have recently started hand sewing clothes for my art dolls which means one thing... I need to organize my needles!  Look at this, this makes me crazy, this is how I used to keep my needles, in a plastic Ziploc baggie.  (When I decided to take the picture I had already taken out all of the needles but you get the point)
One of the perks of being creative is that I can do something about my needle fiasco without spending a dime... make something a little bit more attractive and organized.

Let me backtrack just a bit.  A few weeks ago when I asked my mom if she had any Elinor Peace Bailey patterns or books (and of course she did!) she also had fabric.  Elinor Peace Bailey Fabric, who knew!  I wanted to save it for something special and unique because it's so cool looking, and you can't just use this fabric for anything because it is so eccentric.
I wanted to make a quilted needle holder so I picked out a solid color for the interior (so I could actually see my needles) and free-form quilted it.
Then I squared it up

And as I was sewing the binding on I decided to put a clear pocket on one side for other sewing essentials like a thimble and scissors.  The binding isn't perfect but it works.  Now my chaotic world is in harmony again because I can find the needle I need just at a glance.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Innertubes and Pleather

When my mother-in-law came for a visit last week she wore this beautiful pin that I had to "pick apart" to see how it was made.  She explained to me that she had gotten it from an art show and that it was made out of innertubes.  An innertube... as in tire, innertube?  Yes.  And it was beautiful. 

Well that got my wheels turning, of course.  Hmmm. I know I could just go to Walmart and buy an innertube for less than $5.00 but let's hit the thrift store first.  I ended up finding a steering wheel cover at the thrift store that I could cut apart, perfect.  I did end up buying an innertube at Walmart also.  Wow, experimenting is so much fun!

Yesterday I was in JoAnn's buying pleather (fake leather) to experiment with also.  I was quite disappointed that JoAnn's only had black, cream, grey and bright yellow.  Where were the rest of the bright colors?  Hot pink, lime green, radical reds?  In the same shopping center was another thrift store. So I head on over there to find... innertubes, pleather, hard fabric... anything that I could make a pin out of because I now have more ideas in my head.  

As a side note I LOVE painting on buttons.  I have about 100 buttons in various stages of being painted.  But I don't exactly know what to do with them.  I can always turn them into pendants which I have done in the past and wear them quite frequently but the artist in me is always trying to create new things.
My idea was to create a larger base for my painted buttons and turn them into pins that women could wear on their coats and also light weight enough to be worn on blouses as well.

In the thrift store I stumbled upon the purse section.  WOW!  Why didn't I think of this before!  Purses are made of various pleather, vinyl and  "hard fabric" that could easily be cut up.  Perfect.  This is what I found (totalling maybe $5.00):
And this is what I created last night:
I just love the way they all turned out but here are my two favorites:
To me, the one on the left looks like a face with it's hair standing straight up.  The black and white one is my largest one so far. The diameter measures 2.5"

Eventually all of these will be for sale at my Etsy shop but I don't think some of them are quite done yet.  I want to add lime green backings to some and make others bigger and bolder.  The thrift store had one green purse, why didn't I buy it?!?!  "oh darn" I say sarcastically "I may just have to go on another search today".

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Can I have your shirt to make a pair of legs?

Since I am now a stay-at-home mom, and am not currently looking for work outside the home, I have to watch every penny I spend.  I have enough arts and crafts supplies to keep me happy for quite a while!  And since I am now into art dolls I have a renewed interest in my fabric stash.  I am looking at patterns and colors differently now.  Not through a quilter's eye but like "This would create a CUTE look for her legs!"

I have a very small fabric stash compared to some people but I have found lots of goodies in my bins.  I only have a small curio of fat quarters and halves (and there's still room to add more!):
And this is the rest of it:
My first doll was made out of a sequin dress I found at the thrift store for maybe $3.00.  My second doll, still a work in progress, is being made out of an old apron I found in my stash.  (more on that story in my next blogpost) and my third doll is being made out of one of my mother-in-law's arm rest covers.

For the third doll, I did have to go buy some black fabric for her skirt, and I was just going to buy that... but then I saw some Halloween fabric that I couldn't live without!  So I have a loose rule of thumb "Try to use fabric from my stash first" but I did walk out of JoAnn's only spending about $10.00.

1.  Mermaid finished
2.  Only head to go on my "apron-made" doll but I'm using a new technique for her head so this one is taking a little longer.
3.  "Arm rest cover" doll - only body and legs made, cutting fabric for skirt.
4.  Halloween fabric doll - still a thought in my head right now, too busy stuffing arms and legs for the other two.