22 November 2014

Silly Purse - rethought

At danger of being called a wacko with a tin foil hat, I have to say wearing the cell phone gave me pause. Remember I know nothing about cell phones but after 9 months of breast cancer treatment, I started to worry about phone signals/waves being directed at my chest. I have a friend whose friend got a tumor just behind her ear which she blamed on a cell phone. I talked to my son who is a Neurologist and he said to put some foil between the phone and my chest. This is what I did.

First I ironed fusible on to a rectangle of Reynolds foil on both sides. 

I tore off the release paper and ironed a rectangle of deep pink fabric on one side then removed the release paper from the other side.

I turned the purse inside out and ironed the fusible foil/fabric to the side I call the back.

When I was done, I turned it right side out and ironed. I don't know if this helps but I feel a bit better. No tin foil hats though (smile)

21 November 2014

I'm a winner

I have frequently had give-aways on my blog. Just this past week, Vickie won the Tricksters Hat book which is winging it's way to her as I type!! Well, this week I won something. One of my Dutch woman friends, Joke, was giving away a beautiful hand made necklace on her blog Waterlilies. I left a comment and I was the winner!. This will come just in time for my Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Thank you Joke. I will treasure this. Also thank you for all the colorful art you create. When I think of you, I think of rich saturated colors - very appealing to me.

19 November 2014

Something silly

So I am probably the last person on earth to get a cell phone. I actually had a track phone (flip phone). I didn't know how to make contacts or record a voice message for incoming calls. Basically I was beyond pathetic. I do have to say I have had a desk top since 1995. It was DOS and it was 256 mb. I laugh now that I have thumb drives that have 2 gbs!! I have a laptop and a tablet and even a first generation Kindle which I never use. But NOW I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It does everything except make your bed!! Operationally, it isn't much different than my Galaxy Tablet but I think it does more.

On my trip to Europe, I realized I needed a smart phone because I couldn't print a boarding pass but it seemed everyone else had one of those "squares" on their phones - sheesh. I didn't even know what those squares were. Well, whatever, I now have a smart phone. This is where the silly comes in.

I can never find it. I put it down and can't remember where. I decided to make a phone "neck purse" so I could wear the phone around my neck. Talk about being a slave to technology!! 

I bought a "hard case" to protect the phone, one I didn't particularly care for but I had no intention of owning a BLACK phone. I'm all about color so with a black and white choice and this one, I picked this one.

NOW I need to make that neck purse so I will have the phone with me. I have a big rambling New England Farm house and I had 5 phones on my land line now I am tethered to this cell phone - NO complaints! I love it. OK. Neck purse. I figured if I had to look at it all day, it had better be made out of beautiful fabric. I started with a piece of deconstructed screen printing. I fused it to acrylic felt.

I just hemmed the top and bar tacked a thin gross grain ribbon to the sides.

 One side

The other


I purposely made it sticking out the top so I could grab it easily. I like it!! (Notice dye stains all over my sweatshirt?)

17 November 2014

What I did while the Internet was down.

What to do, what to do? How did I become a slave to the internet? Well, I am and I must love it or I wouldn’t be writing a blog post in a word document. During this trying time, I decided to make the apron I bought from Fingerprintfabric.com. Yesterday, in the teeth of the storm (before we lost power), it was so soothing to sit and sew a project. I have drooled over this apron since I first laid eyes on it and now was the perfect time to stitch it up. I knew I wanted to try a different attachment of straps because anything around my neck hurts. Jane Dunnewold had a great apron with a criss cross in the back and I thought I might “try” that arrangement with pins in and see if it would work. It did.

Here’s what I did
You can see how dark it was in my studio with the skylights covered in snow. I cut out the pieces and ironed the folds according to the directions. Yes, I do read and follow directions (smile).

There were no actual “seams” just fell flat seams on the belt ties and neck strap. There was a rolled seam around the circumference of the apron and pockets needed an initial stitching before attaching to the apron. I decided to do a mitered corner on the apron and pockets to make sure no raw edges showed and bulk was kept to a minimum.

I tried on the apron with the straps attached at the neck, then criss-crossed on the back and attached at the waist. It fit fine.

The last two pictures are of the pockets attached – clever pockets – and the top stitching from the back side of the apron.

I'll tell you the truth. It was delightful to just sit and sew. The upside of no internet or phone was no robo-calls from political groups. Ahh! peace and quiet.

15 November 2014

Winner of The Trickster's Hat

This give-away was on both the FIRE blog and my own (sewsewart). There were 23 comments on both blogs and the winning number was 20. The first 19 were on the FIRE blog and the last 4 were from mine. The winner is Vicki whose email address I do not have so here is her picture.

So Vicki, send me an email at beth dot from dot maine at gmail dot com. I'll be sending you the book as soon as I get your address.

I always wait at least 3 days after a give-away because some folks who email subscribe don't get the posts for 3 days.

Congratulations Vicki and thanks everyone for your comments. Creativity awaits!! 

14 November 2014

Additions to my studio and life

This past Sunday I made a quick trip tp Boston to get two new shelves for my studio and see if I could find a few items I saw at the Amsterdam IKEA. I also needed to go before we got our new rescue dog on Monday and before the snow flew. The trip was a resounding success.

I was going to put the two book cases together making the unit 30" wide. 

This is a single book case. The folding table I removed from this spot was 30" wide. I wanted to make another "work surface" but in reality, I know I don't need another huge work table. Instead I decided to put the bookcase in from of this door that we don't use. Unfortunately there is  step too so the bookcase protrudes into the room a bit. A big "So What!"

You can see the other one across the room.

I saw this rug in Amsterdam and thought if they had it here I would buy it. Who wouldn't want a Button Rug in their studio??

I also bought a candle holder and 5 flower pots which I will have to photograph because I bought them because of their colors! Later!!

Meanwhile, I picked up our new boy, 18 months old and cute as all get out!!

12 November 2014

Priming the creative pump

I read about this book on someone's blog and I got it. I am always looking for ways to "prime the pump" and get those creative juices flowing. The Trickster Hat can be seen here on Amazon and it's a "Look Inside " book so just click through. It started with some fairly quick and small projects one of which I found very clever.

The task for that day was to draw a rectangle 1.5 X 3" and make a paper collage using old postage stamps. It was fun and I even liked my 15 minute "art piece".

By day 4 the projects were getting longer - like an hour or two and although they sounded great, I was too impatient to start them. I think during the winter when the allure of the outdoors is waning, I might try a few. The exercises certainly pushed me outside the box.

Another quick pump primer I loved was creating a quick art work on luggage tags. While I was having chemo, I made one as many days as I could and loved the challenge of coming up with ideas. I did collage, sketch and even painted one. What great fun.

This last technique I heard about from a quilter in New York, Victoria Findlay Wolf . She said she simply took scraps of fabric and sewed them togtehr for about 15 minutes each morning. Kind of reminded me of Rayna Gillman month of posts on the FIRE blog and her book "Create your own free form quilts". I was going to have a second look at the book but I gave my copy away. Think I'll ask Judith to lend me her copy.

So I will pass along the fun and give-away a copy of the Tricksters Hat. Leave a comment. Happy Creating!!