Monday, January 31, 2011

twice upon a time diorama

papercut study of an illustration by Adrienne Adams

Well, the duvet cover is still not done but I have this on my mantel now. It's from an illustration by Adrienne Adams that I just adore, in Twice Upon A Time. I found myself staring at it a lot and since I was unwilling to rip out the page and frame it, I made this instead.

I found the book (published 1973) at the thrift shop. I confess I just bought it for the illustrations. Really the story is not destined to be a classic (my apologies, Mr. Shapiro, and to anyone for whom this book is a childhood favorite). It's about a story teller named Rambling Richard who finds himself thrown in jail in the boastful city of Gib Gib.

This is the page that I lifted for the diorama. I just love this illustration. Rambling Richard is on his way to the inn to pay for his room with a story called "How The World Shrank To The Size Of A Pea And Was Swallowed By An Oyster". As unlikely as it seems, this is not why he was thrown in jail. I love Adrienne Adams' style and something about this particular illustration just compelled me to tackle it in cut paper - all the right angles, the stepped progression into the distance, the blues, the greens, all the tiny tiny lit windows. Here are some other pages in the book:

The finished piece, framed and on the mantel, so now I can stare at it all the time. The diorama is 11.5 x 11.5 inches and the frame is 20.5 x 20.5 inches, same size as Red. Pardon the swatches of blue paint on the wall there. I'm so excited to be finally picking new paint colors for my living room/dining/kitchen/master bedroom. So long overdue. I can hardly wait for the painter to get started. Oyster-y color in the kitchen, the perfect, perfect blue for the main living/dining (Sherwin Williams Rainwashed), and my bedroom will be (I think) creamy white. One day, after it is all complete and the house is picked up for some reason, I will take photos.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

working on a little something

for the mantel.
I have some rare time alone at the house today. I'm supposed to be finishing the duvet, of course. Yes, prolly should do that. Maybe later.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

free fonts

If you need some fresh fontage on the cheap, Fonthaus has 408 free fonts and 955 fonts for under $10. Sweet. You can browse their collection by price. Free font above is Minya Nouvelle by Larabie Fonts, and my favorite for under $10 is Zalderdash by Typodermic.

Friday, January 21, 2011

focus and finish...focus and finish...ooh, look, something shiny

Isn't this a cute collection? It's Hoopla by Moda. I just got a charm pack. You can't see it in the shot, but the solid white square is actually a white on white dot that is lovely. That dark blue floral would be so cute on the reverse side of Thing 1's Project-That-Won't-Die duvet cover (see below for an old WIP picture). I'm so ready to get that thing finished. She is dropping regular hints about what terrible shape her quilt is in. I've let the new cover sit around untouched for months and now I just want it out of my craft room and on her bed.

It's all pieced. I just need to border it with something (thinking a solid light blue cotton) to get the proper width and depth for the top and then I need to sew it to a same-sized backing on three sides with a buttoned opening.

I also recently stumbled across seven yards of this blue swiss dot at the thrift store, so I'm thinking maybe using it for some kind of trim on the reverse (possibly Hoopla) side.

Friday, January 14, 2011

girly shoe tags: a tutorial

As a practice I'm sure they'll talk about in therapy later, I often buy my girls the same shoes because when I find some that fit one well, they usually fit the other one well, and let's face it, I like to just get it done. And goodness knows if I happen to buy different pairs according to what I think each will like, one inevitably likes her sister's shoes better and it all ends in tears.

However, when you buy two pairs of the same you have a different problem - whose shoes are whose? I am not up for grubbing inside the shoe to search for the size tag. So I made some quick layered felt flowers with leaves in their favorite colors and sewed them on so that their latest casual shoes can be identified with a quick glance.

It's a quick and easy project and I thank myself for it every time they get dressed. You could also use an alphabet bead instead of a button for each girl's initial. If your shoes lack the obliging fabric or webbing inserts, you could always opt to sew them around the strap or add a clip. If you would like to make some girly shoe tags like these, here's the simple pattern PDF to download:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

another anthro-mutation pillow and yes, I have a thing for birds and leaves

Angela Adams dishtowel pillow. With an older placemat pillow behind it.

I know winter has just begun (we've been locked inside for three days after a rare Georgia ice storm), but right after Christmas I always feel the pull toward citrus colors. I need cheerful things around me to make up for the weak sunlight.

When my BFF and I hit the Anthro in New Orleans a while back I got this great Angela Adams dishtowel. I can't imagine using dishtowels I buy there for drying dishes or mopping up milk. That just seems insane, so it was bought with future pillows in mind.

I cut the dishtowel in half and used one half of it to make the front of the pillow. It needed some applique leaves on a stem for a punch of color. Then it needed some embroidery on the bird to balance some of the new color. I was just going to back it with some contrasting fabric and stuff it, but then I realized:
  1. I was not in the mood to stuff anything. I really don't enjoy it.
  2. I had a pile of perfectly good square pillows just sitting there
So I added a strip of shot cotton and some trim to each end to square it up.

Then I backed it with denim that was overlapped in the middle just like I did to the napkin pillow here, so it is a removable cover. I stuffed in the square pillow, tacked it shut and added a button for looks.

Now I need to do something with the other half of the dish towel and cute leftover ball trim. I keep everything. You should see my ridiculous pile of scraps. It is really hard for me to throw away fabric. I did an epic cleanout of my craft loft yesterday and I made myself donate a bunch of thrifted fabric and clothing that has been sitting up here for ages. My husband saw the large pile I was carrying out and murmured "Thank you, Lord, for answered prayers" and wiped an imaginary tear from his eye. My craft loft is also his office.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

dear bejacketed fox girl, we love you.

fox girl doll by Mimi Kirchner

I feel it's important to support other crafters and artists. So I felt it behooved me, nay, it was my duty to buy this amazing fox girl doll and make her my own. You might know we have kind of a soft spot for animal dolls around here.

Oh, we love her so much. The quality of this doll is so impressive. Mimi has in spades what my old graphic design professor, Barbara Yale-Read, reverently termed as "good craft". Meaning that great care is taken to execute the idea in as careful and neat a way as possible.

Me and the girls oohed and ahhed over her as I unpacked her. We had to undress her and look at all her little clothes. All the wooly and lawny fabrics are so rich in color and the finishing is so neatly done. Then we looked in her little purse at the secret treasure that was hidden in there. Then we carefully dressed her all back up and she is now on display in my family room behind glass. I get a big shot of happy each time I walk by and see her in there with my other handmade dolls.

Loxy says "Hi, Mimi!"

If you haven't seen Mimi Kirchner's blog or shop, treat yourself to a look. She also has a fabulous free doll tutorial on the Purl Bee that's been on my to do list for such a long while.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

spoke too soon!

(slapping face with open palm and pulling hand down slowly)

For those of you who have seen this post about limited seller's licenses, I apologize! I have pulled this post and the related page because I have to do some investigating on copyright law and how it affects stuff like this. I thought I understood how it works, but now I'm going to wait and receive an answer from the US copyright office, which may a few days. I'm really sorry. I am no lawyer and I have a headache from reading some really long legal publications. I'd hate to put something out there that was misleading or inaccurate!

Sorry folks!

Monday, January 3, 2011

what I'm up to

niece Jamie with the girls

Happy 2011, everyone! We had such a perfect Christmas with my extended family in Huntsville, AL, and then with Michael's family back home. It was filled with special together times, games, Tucker kisses, delicious homemade food, crafting, a little shopping and if you can believe it: we woke up to a white Christmas! It was magical. How many years has it been since that happened? I don't know. But in the southern US, days like that are very few and far between.

We managed to scrape enough snow from my sister's lawn to make a snowman! I'm taking the picture.

Seasoned snow people who live in places like Colorado and Minnesota snicker at us southern folks as we hole up and close businesses and schools for measley inch or two of snow. But we cain't drive in it, people! It skeers us. Plus, it happens so rarely here it just feels right to stop your normal activity and appreciate it. You should see the ridiculous runs on the grocery stores around here if there is a hint of wintery weather forecast on TV. You go in the store and all the bread, milk, and Cheetos are gone.

So we are back home now in 2011 and trying to get up to speed. What I'm up to:

taking this stuff down

doing epic amounts of this

spending too much time perusing this

trying so hard to avoid the siren song of this. I have got to get some exercise.