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Archive for March, 2008

I finished my pop tab purse, it was a good learning experience. I guess you would call this a prototype. I like how the tabs look woven together and I also like the crocheted edges. I think the strap needs something, I’m just not sure what. I sewed the two pieces together on the sewing machine when I added the zipper and lining and I like the look of that, I’m going to have to think on it some more, refine it a bit.

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I am a commercial pattern hoarder, I don’t know why, most of them have never been cut, anyway I am always buying new ones and storage is getting to be a bit of a problem. I guess in twenty years I’ll have a great vintage pattern collection. I bought some pattern storage boxes, but they were plain and uninteresting.

I’m not really the blue flower type, so I painted them white, I can’t have any of that pattern showing through. It took two coats of cheap acrylic craft paint, spray paint would also work, but it was a bit too cold for that.

I they started applying old pattern tissue with modge podge. I just randomly tore off pieces and slapped them on. I was careful to not add too many layers on the edges of the box.

After several layers of tissue I varnished the box and this is the finished box. Much better and it only took a few old patterns, I think this really improved them. It also made the boxes sturdier. I love modge podge.

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I’ve wanted to make labels for my jewelry pieces and decorative pulls for my sparklicious bags, so I have been experimenting with shrinky dinks. I made some using colored pencils and sharpie markers and when I shrunk them I didn’t like the results, specifically the uneven color from the pencils and the bleeding from the markers. I know that they make specific shrinky dinks that can be sent through your printer, but I had stacks of the regular kind (for colored pencils and markers) that I wanted to use. I finally decided to run a regular sheet through my printer to see what would happen and this is what I found out, regular shrink plastics can be used in your home printer, but when you print use the draft or economy ink setting and allow the ink to dry before cutting them out, also remember to reverse any text that you use.

Here are some before shrinking. I really like to use shading to give the charms extra detailing. I punch holes in them before shrinking with a small hole punch. I made these in microsoft word using premade shape templates, changing the coloring and shading, and adding text.Here they are after shrinking, notice how some of them are darker, those were printed without using the draft setting. There are also some that I hand colored on the bottom. To get smooth edges I used a round 1″ craft punch to make some and the rest I cut out with very sharp scissors.Here’s a detail showing the difference between draft(left) and regular(right). The regular printing makes the ink bleed slightly making some of the charms difficult to read. To finish them I color the edges with a paint pen or sharpie marker and then I coat the back with diamond glaze to keep them from scratching. I like using them for labeling my jewelry and purses because they can be easily removed and I can color coordinate them to each piece.

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Yes, I am still knitting on the sleeves of this striped shrug. I thought I had finally finished the sleeves and so I weaved all the ends in and seamed up the sides. I was so excited to try it on and when I did I realized that I hadn’t made the sleeves long enough and the large buttonhole neck just didn’t look quite right (probably why you’re supposed to knit the sleeves separately, hmmmmm.) and I need some practice doing the mattress stitch to join the edges. So I did what I always do when a project doesn’t work out, I threw it in a heap and ignored it for a few weeks, contemplating what I would do to fix it. It finally came to me, I would cut in apart in the middle and just add more stripes and then sew it together like I was supposed to in the first place.
Here they are separated and being re-knitted, I am still hoping to finish this before July. I have been learning how to knit from the Stitch and Bitch book and from videos on KnittingHelp.com.

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Mokume gane is one of my favorite polymer clay techniques. It is a time intensive procedure, but the finished product is spectacular, with a lot of depth and shimmer.

I started off mixing varying amounts of black clay with translucent clay to get these four shades. The clay is then made into thin sheets by running it through a pasta machine, then it is stacked by alternating clay with silver leaf. The slab is then smooshed (technical term) and poked and then rolled flat and sliced with a tissue blade. The slices can then be applied to any oven safe material.Here’s everything fresh from the oven. It looks good, but it’s not finished yet. I hand sand each piece starting with 200 grit and working up to 2000 grit. Then I buff each piece to a glass like sheen. The sanding and buffing is what really brings out the depth of the layers of translucent clay. This pendant is about the size of a domino and opens to a secret compartment.This is a sleek and modern donut pendant.And this is an upcycled mint tin and is a little over 3 inches wide.
For more detailed instructions for working with polymer clay I highly recommend The Glass Attic.

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I went to my local thrift store today and found some great deals! All their coats were free and I found a very nice faux sheep skin coat that fit me perfectly and it’s machine washable. Here’s everything that I bought, can you believe that I only spent $3.75?

I also found a great pair of coveralls, I have big plans for them, I’m going to cut the arms off and paint a vintage tattoo flash design on the back similar to this. They had some really nice children’s books, there are ten of them. Most of them are board books and they’re all in almost new condition.There are also two vintage floral pillowcases and these fake wood sparrows.When I saw them I thought wow, wouldn’t those look great painted like this clip art. I’m hoping that the wind dies down so I can spray prime them today. I love thrift store shopping, you never know what you’ll find.

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I made some more plastic bottle beads today, trying some different techniques.

This time I decided to color sheets of plastic before cutting them into the triangle shapes so that I would have sets of matching beads. I also just scribbled the colors on, no designs or details. Here are all the finished beads. I have learned that if you keep the heat gun in one place too long the plastic bubbles on the edges and turns milky, I like this look. I also tried wrapping them with the small point in, this made the bead look like a macaroni noodle, not what I was going for. I used the flat parts of two 2-liter bottles and one 20 oz. bottle to get all these beads (54 to be exact). Everyone that has seen them could not tell what I made them from and they all really liked them. I also think that they look like glass beads although they are not as heavy as glass would be. I am anxious to make them into necklaces, but I want to figure out a way to make a focal pendant to go with them. I may just use them to accent my polymer clay pendants or as components in charm bracelets.

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