Jun 252013
 

You all have heard me brag on Craftsy quite a bit lately, but it’s only because I think they’re wonderful.  I love their system of classes that you can take any time at your convenience.

What really sells me, though, is that you can take your classes over and over again… forever.  No worries about time frames or things expiring. That’s kinda awesome.

Craftsy Fine Art

Anyhow, I thought you might like to know that Craftsy now has a new category of classes: Fine Art.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to paint in watercolor or acrylics, or learn to draw, they have classes for you.  Here’s what they have to say:

 With the launch of six art classes, Craftsy is proud to announce a new category – Fine Art! Let our world-class art instructors teach you professional techniques to elevate your art, regardless of your skill level or preferred media. From landscape drawing to portraiture, watercolors to acrylics, these classes allow you to learn on your own time, at your convenience from talented instructors. Check out the new art classes from Craftsy:

So, whatever your medium, fabric, clay, ink or paint, Happy creating!

Jun 242013
 

I posted a few weeks ago that I had made a pattern from a purchased top I loved.

round-collar-knit-top-original

This is the original.  I loved it and wanted it in different colors.  I followed the tips in these videos to make a pattern (without taking the garment apart, too!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKRrq42-fME

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IehB8MwLcT0

If you can access old episodes of Sewing with Nancy, the series is called Copy Cat Patterns.

round-collar-knit-top-raspberry-copy

First I made this one.  It’s a little on the short side, but looks good with jeans or crop pants.

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Then I made this one in brown.  It’s the same length as the original and is just perfect, imo.

remade-t-brown-close

Here’s a close up the the embellishment.  It’s an iron-on patch from Joann’s.  You’d think they’d use glass seed beads on an iron-on patch, but no, theirs were plastic and melted, even while using a press cloth. Grrr. I had to sew on new beads to the flower centers. (And buy a new press cloth)

So the moral of the story is to use a very thick press cloth.  Also, be sure to iron from the back side to really secure your patch.

remade-t-blue-1

Then I made this one full of bling.  (Nearly 300 crystals, actually.) I wash it in a lingerie bag so I don’t lose any of my Swarovskis in the wash.  I thought I’d try a few inches shorter this time, but really prefer the original length.

So there you have it, one pattern, four variations.  What favorite garment do you have that you can make copies of?

Happy creating!

Jun 182013
 

Those of  you who are new to my blog may not yet have come across my free Topsy Turvy Doll Pattern and Directions. It’s a really cute and fun project, especially if you have little people to sew for. 🙂

topsy turvy doll awake

One of my favorite things about teaching (and that includes this blog) is seeing how people interpret designs for themselves.  I love to get your pics!

Yesterday, Alyssa emailed me photos of her completed dolly.

alyssa-topsy-turvy-doll

Isn’t’ she sweet? Nice job, Alyssa!

You can see another creative version of the Topsy Turvy doll  here.

Speaking of free patterns, did you know that in addition to free online classes, Craftsy also has free knitting, sewing, embroidery and quilting patterns?

You can find them all at these links:

So, there you have it.  With so many free patterns available, there’s no excuse for not being creative!

Happy creating, ya’ll.  🙂

Jun 172013
 

It was quite a few years ago that Bethany Reynolds came to our quilt guild and showed us the cool techniques in her book Magic Stack-n-Whack Quilts.  Of course I had to give it a try; I’m a sucker for any cool new technique. 🙂

This quilt top was the result: (click to embiggen)

matt-sarahs-stack-n-whack-quilt-2

I only had so much of the main fabric, so had to fill in three blocks with baskets, which I think keeps it interesting.

The squares in the corners are the fabrics that all the stars were made from.

matt-sarahs-stack-n-whack-quilt-7

You can tell it was a while ago cuz this Debbie Mumm fabric was new at the time.

matt-sarahs-stack-n-whack-quilt-6

This block is made from the above section of fabric.  Can you find the portion?  It’s kinda like playing Eye Spy. 🙂

matt-sarahs-stack-n-whack-quilt-3

This quilt had been just a top for TOO long.  It was one of my favorites, but I never got around to finishing it.  The daughter of a dear friend was getting married, and this top was the largest in my stash so, as much as I hated to give it up, it got finished for her.  I hope the newlyweds enjoy it and know that much love went into every stitch. 🙂

So, whether you’re making something brand new, and finishing up an old UFO, Happy Creating!

Jun 132013
 

While the guys were watching hockey last night, I did something a little more interesting. I took a crafting class… and it was free!

Did you know that Craftsy has a whole bunch of super high quality online classes for you to try out?

creative-quilt-backs

This class is FREE for the taking, just click. 🙂

Even though I’m not doing much quilting these days, I decided to check out Creative Quilt Backs just to hear what she had to say.

Since I’ve been a quilter for many years, there wasn’t much in the course that was new to me, but Elizabeth did give some great ideas for making the back of our quilts more interesting.

creative-quilt-backs-block-strip

Add a strip of leftover quilt blocks to the back of your quilt.

Her teaching is excellent and she very clearly explains concepts which can be difficult, like how to line up the repeat on a large scale print. (Love her glue stick trick!) She also does a wonderful job explaining the math involved, and says it enough times that by the end of the course you should hopefully have it down.

creative-quilt-backs-block

Add a single block to the back of your quilt.

A few ways you’ll learn to make your quilt back more creative:

  • use a large scale print (and piece it together for a large quilt so the look is seamless)
  • insert a row of pieced blocks (often leftovers from making the quilt) into an otherwise solid back
  • insert a single pieced block into an otherwise solid back
  • piece together the entire back (using fabric leftovers and scraps)
creative-quilt-backs-pieced-strip

Add a pieced strip, framed with contrasting fabric strips to the back.

I have to admit that I only get creative with quilt backs when I don’t have enough of my chosen backing fabric and don’t want to buy more. 😀 But this class has given me ideas that I might just use the next time I finish a quilt.

Happy creating!

Jun 122013
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, ya’ll!  This is the day some of us take to virtually travel the world via the workdesks of creative people from all over.  The desks may be neat, messy and sometimes piled high, but there’s always something interesting and inspirational to see.  Check it out over at Julia’s.

2013-06-12-woyww-color-studies

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working through the exercises in Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio’s book Polymer Clay Color Inspirations.  Those papers you see are color collages from magazine clippings.  Now you know all my favorite colors. 🙂

The next project is to make  collages from that disliked pile of paper bits over on the right.  Should be interesting. Hmmmm…..

That mahoosive pile of clay blocks in the center found its way home cuz they were only $1 each this week over at Michaels.  Woot!  (Yes, I grabbed one each of every color.)  🙂

2013-06-12-woyww-finishing-tray

This past weekend I also spent a little time reorganizing my polymer clay supplies.  This tray has all my finishing stuff.  Patinas, paints, metallics, Varathane and the like are now all in one place.  Makes sense, right?

2013-06-12-polymer-clay-tools-tray

This tray has all the tools I used the most while creating in clay.  This includes these little color mixing sample tiles, also an exercise from Polymer Clay Color Inspirations. Again, it seemed logical to put ’em all together.

2013-06-12-woyww-mini-albums

This tray has all the components for a product idea that has gotten put on the back burner.  I think it’s a neat idea (a wearable scrapbook album) but hit so many roadblocks in R&D that I set it aside for a while.

polymer-clay-faux-african-trade-beads-1

This string of beads was another project from the color book.  They have the look of African trade beads… in my favorite colors, though!

polymer-clay-faux-african-trade-beads-2

Whatever you do this week, may you have time for something creative.

Jun 072013
 

Finished up this one in time to wear to church this past week:

linen-skirt-1

Please don’t mind the messy hair, it was too stinkin’ humid to bother.

linen-skirt-2

I’ve been eyeballin’ this sequined linen blend at Joann’s for months now (isn’t it yummy?) and finally found a pattern that didn’t use too much, as it was $17/yd.

It was extremely easy to sew, but even after several vacuumings I’m still finding bits of sequins everywhere.

simplicity-2058-skirt-pattern

The skirt is a pattern I’ve made before, Simplicity 2058. It was so nice to have all the fitting already done. Just cut and sew!

simplicity-2058-skirt

Last time I did the longer length.  I’m definitely thinking the shorter one is better; cuter & less dowdy.  Opinions?

You can find my post with a review of the pattern here.

Jun 052013
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  This is the day we take a peek at the goings on of creative desks from all around the world.  It’s fun, interesting and often inspiring.  To check out this weekly worldwide blog hop go on over to Julia’s.

My desk on this Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning: (click for a closer view)

2013-06-05-woyww-polymer-clay-color

I’ve been working my way through Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio’s book Polymer Clay Color Inspirations.  The exercises are interesting, although I already have quite a bit of color theory down from years as a quilter.  However, this book is specific to polymer clay and I’m sure there’s plenty more to learn. 🙂

The Varathane on the left was purchase with much hope that it will solve my problems with finishes on my clay pieces.  More than one sculpture has been ruined by the Sculpey Satin glaze going all glossy on me.  Grrrrr……  (Hubby tells me that if I don’t like it he has uses for it, so that’s good!)

I finally picked up some Distress Markers.  But didja know that Michaels is selling packs of five for $18 when A.C. Moore has them singly for $3 each?  Boo, hiss, Michael’s.  (Although, it is easier to use a 50% coupon on the five-pack, rather than running through the register five times, which I have been known to do, ha!)

Now that I’m used to it I’m really liking the brighter green mat, probably because it’s, well, brighter.  😀 (It’s also clean, unstained and not warped.)

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful and happy Workdesk Wednesday.

 

Jun 032013
 

Sorry I haven’t posted much this past week, I’ve been busy actually making stuff, rather than just reading about it on the internets.  That does seem to be the trade-off, time spent reading & thinking vs. time actually doing.

Anyhow, as I mentioned last week, one of the dragon pendants in my Etsy shop sold, so I made another to fill that empty slot.  It’s just slightly different.

purple-dragon-pendant-2

The belly scales are different and the wing feathers are larger and have only 10 rather than 16.

purple-silver-dragon-pendant-2

Now that I look at them side by side, I’m thinking I like the more and thinner feathers version better. Hmmmmm…..

Also, I just finished and listed these in my Etsy shop.  Dragon wing earrings!

dragon-wing-earrings-model

Aren’t they cool?

dragon-wing-earrings-vase

I’m kinda in love with this idea.

dragon-wing-earrings-flat

If you want to see more pics, you’ll find them at my shop, Fancy That Art Jewelry.

May 292013
 

Today’s desk shows me making another purple polymer clay dragon necklace pendant.  Why?  Because I sold this one.  Woot, woot!

2013-05-29-woyww_1

I’m also experimenting with smaller, charm size dragons.  This little one, however, is still too big, as it will easily catch on things and break.

On the right are a couple of today’s purchases, new colors of Distress Stains and the Ranger Vintaj Patina Weathered Copper Kit, The blue sparklies are for a top that I’ll be showing you soon.

If you have a few minutes today, join us in checking out What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  This is where creative folks give you a peek into the inner workings of their crafty spaces. It’s always fun and interesting.

Happy creating!