September 13, 2010

Intricate stencil work

So... my crafting hiatus didn't last very long. Ahem.

This is not my artwork. A friend of mine gave it to me after I complimented him on it many years ago. Now a special event of his is coming up, and yesterday was the 9th International Morsbagging Sunday, so I decided to print some Morsbags with his design on them.

I painstakingly traced the design onto freezer paper and cut it out (nothing like a looming deadline to make such tasks seem attractive). Doing the leaves and the basket was extremely fiddly.

Seeing the freezer paper ironed on the bag briefly made me consider screenpainting the design in white rather than black!

This was the first print. I made two, because I wanted to make the most out of all that cutting! As you can see, it's the inverse of the original artwork. It was simple because, as you can see from a couple of photos back, it was made from a single cut-out.

Here is the second, more fiddly bag. For this one, I ironed down all the remaining cut-out pieces one by one.

I had originally planned to add some of the finer details (flowers, petals, hair...) with embroidery thread after painting the bags, but I've decided that they look good as they are, and the threads would probably just snag on the inside of the bag anyway.

The labels went on the back, as there was no real place for them on the front.

Here's a little visual reminder of why you need to place some newspaper (or my favourite - cereal boxes) under fabric that you're screen-painting so that the ink doesn't seep through.

For the presentation, I rolled them up and tied them together with a simple tie I made from the same linen I used for the bags.

The linen was picked up for next to nothing at my local op-shop and was so beautifully soft and easy to work with, that I fear I will not want to sew nor print on anything but the best!

Everything has been packed away again, so hopefully I can get some uni work done now. Although when I went to bed last night, my mind was racing with ideas for doll joints and projects using them... uh oh!

September 7, 2010

My creative space

My desk is my creative hub. It is the only space I have for work and play. A mix of uni work, personal work and crafting.

The lovely decorations on my wall are from Bobberdilly (the cat), Deadpan Alley (the two portraits), Tollipop (the wee girl), Cathy Cullis (the illustration on the far left) and Sycamore Press (the pencil stubs).

For the next month or so, I'll be concentrating on the work side of things. I've packed away my sewing machine, boxed up my fabric stash, brought out all my books, set up my computer, and will be concentrating on finishing my honours thesis. It's due on October 25... wish me luck!

August 31, 2010

Australian native flower-press

I had some flowers fading fast, so I decided it was time to do some flower-pressing!

I love the design & colours of this flower-press, which is from my childhood. It still has bits of paper & cardboard from back in the day wedged inside it...

After a few weeks, I could wait no longer and prised open the press.

Results as expected! The white flower wasn't very pretty, but the jonquils turned out really well.

Unsure as to what I actually wanted to do with the flowers, I whipped this up. You can spin the wheel for different early-morning remarks!

August 28, 2010

Stencilled morsbags using the handle in the design

I was prepared for the 8th International Morsbagging Sunday, organised by I bag you, and had 26 kits cut and and ready to be sewn.

Here are the finished bags! The material is from 4 single sheets from my childhood. There wasn't quite enough for them all to have matching handles, so I decided that some of them would get one black handle which would then work into a design. Much like the red lemur bag!

Next came the planning stage. This involved lots of quick sketches to get some inspiration. I ended up with 17 bags to stencil! So far, I've managed...

A snake bag...

A hanging monkey bag (with one skinny ankle)....

A power cord bag (with sparks - first time I've used colour fabric paint)...

An umbrella bag...

A cat bag (I used a photo to design this one, hence its realism)...

And last but not least, a fatty fatty boombah bag. As you can see, realistic anatomy is not my strong point, unless copied from a photo!

There's a bit of go-go-gadget arm action happening there. And some cankles. And boy is that ape one fatty boombah. No more bananas for you!

Six down, eleven to go... If you have any ideas, please share!

August 22, 2010

Toy Society Drop: No llores, Lorretta #2 (with added lightning!)

Since I made the ¡no llores, Lorretta! pattern available, I thought I'd better test it. The first time I made the toy I didn't really use a pattern.

I had different colours of felt to work with, so it came out a little differently. Still pretty cute, I reckon.

After making the toy, I made a few adjustments to the pattern for next time (the right hand was a little wonky, redid the cloud bumps between the arms...). Looking at the pictures now, I probably should have also trimmed the dark felt a bit more so it didn't show up on the happy side!

I decided to leave her for someone to find, as a Toy Society Drop (#1332).

I left Lorretta attached to a tree near one of Lake Burley Griffin's walking tracks (Canberra, Australia) around midday.

Related post: Free toy pattern: Lorretta

August 18, 2010

Free toy pattern: Lorretta

UPDATE: Pattern updated 09/10/10
UPDATE: Alternate "retro" version of pattern added 09/10/10
Please scroll down for details.

You may recall I did a Toy Society Drop (#1179) earlier this year called No llores, Lorretta!

This was the toy in question:

I've finally gotten around to making a pattern for it, which I am releasing under an attribution, share-alike creative commons license, which means you are allowed to modify and redistribute the pattern, as long as you do so under the same license and give credit.

UPDATE: After realising that toys made from the original pattern posted here look quite different to the ones in the photos above, I made a second pattern which matched the first toy better. I'm calling it the "retro" version. I also added a lightning bolt to the original pattern.
The files below have been updated, and the old version is still available too.

Original pattern v2.0:
Retro pattern:

If you want to edit the pattern directly in Inkscape or an equivalent program, here are the original design files:

Original pattern v2.0:
Retro pattern:

Lorretta comes in shy of 15cm (~6") but the pattern can be easily scaled to any size. The construction is very basic, hence the lack of tutorial. I used running stitch in matching colours to sew the face to the cloud and running stitch in black (for contrast) to sew the two main pieces together. I started with the arms and used a chopstick to stuff in small amounts of polyfill as I went.

Mary Corbet has a fantastic video library of stitches including running stitch and blanket stitch.

I hope you enjoy the pattern, it's fun to do a little hand sewing from time to time!

Related posts

August 14, 2010

Leather book sleeve

I first saw a pattern for a book sleeve in Zakka Sewing. I'd been waiting for a special occasion to make one, as unfortunately books here come in every size and shape, making such a sleeve unlikely to be reusable for other books.

(Spot the cathy cullis doll in the pic above!)

I was tossing up which fabric to use for it when I remembered that the recipient of this gift had been given some thin leather that had been cut out from the back of the couch of a loved one. It had special meaning for him. Leather is not a material I've worked with before, or plan to work with again.

It didn't need any lining, but I was keen to use this green fabric that I'd saved from the ends of a pillowcase, the rest of which was made into a Morsbag.

Unfortunately I didn't think it through very well and the fabric was threadbare and the leather had a mind of its own. Let's just say that turning it inside out and poking out the corners was a little nerve-wracking.

I used some old packaging to make a little clear pocket on the front.

I also had some beautiful woven ribbon that I'd picked up from my local op-shop which I used to embellish the book and make a bookmark.

I guess I can always whip up some blank books in that size to fit inside the sleeve for future gifts!

If you'd like to make your own journal cover, there are some great resources here:

August 8, 2010

Jumping on the breadwagon

I think I may be late to the "Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day" party.... The master recipe is available free online, so go forth and experiment if you haven't already!

August 1, 2010

Reversible cycling cap

UPDATE: Pattern updated 02/10/10
Please scroll down for details

This reversible cycling cap was intended ad a gift, and as you can see it's a bit big for me! I scored the tweed material for next to nothing at my local op-shop, and the plastic in the brim (which allows it to flick upward like a traditional cycling cap) came from a display folder's cover. No that is not a real fingerstache tattoo, and the brooch is from Dog Daisy.

I got the idea from Panda Face's original pattern on flickr, which has some interesting comments and links to photos. Dude craft's video tutorial and PDF pattern were also a great help. The pattern is for a non-reversible cap and his brim is more like a baseball-cap. Unlike Panda Face's pattern, which needs some adjusting to get the proportions right, Dude Craft's is correctly proportioned and ready to print. It helped me create my own pattern using the more traditional brim as per Panda Face's pattern.

With their permission, I am releasing the pattern under an attribution, share-alike creative commons license, which means you are allowed to modify and redistribute the pattern as long as you do so under the same license and give credit.

UPDATE: After feedback from the recipient, I have modified the pattern to make the brim a little skinnier and the hat a little shorter. The files below have been updated, and the old versions are still available too. I have also removed the non-commercial clause from the creative commons license.
This pattern makes a cap with roughly a 62cm (24.4") circumference.

If you want to edit the pattern directly in Inkscape or an equivalent program, here is the original design file:
One day I plan to write up a proper tutorial on how to make the cap reversible and adjust the pattern size for different heads.

The basic idea is that you cut out 8 cap pieces and 2 brim pieces. You sew up the middle seam of each cap piece, then sew the cap pieces together in pairs. Next, grab two double cap pieces and join them. Check size against your head, adjust seams in as necessary. Repeat with the two remaining double cap pieces.

Next, take the two brim pieces and sew them together. Insert the plastic piece, sew around the edge of the brim (through the plastic) to keep in it place and sew the opening shut. Finally, put the two cap pieces together (right sides facing) and sandwich the brim piece between the two. Sew around the edge, leaving an opening at the back through which you then pull the cap right-side-out.

Fold under the sides of the opening and put some elastic in if you like. To finish it off, top-stitch all the way around the bottom of the cap, thus closing the opening and making sure both sides of the cap sit correctly.

July 28, 2010

Bearded man ATC

My honours thesis is due in under three months, so expect a lot of procrastination crafting!

This afternoon, in between readings on survey-based experimental research via the web, I whipped up a Frankie Magazine ATC for a Send Something letter. Isn't the picture of the bearded guy awesome? It's made by the lovely lady over at the handmade romance blog.

I definitely need to carve a rubber stamp for the back of ATCs... could be a bit fiddly though!

Related post: Magazine collage ATCs

July 25, 2010

Stamp carving with Brown Owls

I hadn't been to a Brown Owls meeting in such a long time, so it was great to be back and crafting with other people again.

This month's activity was stamp carving, and there are some great tutorials listed for it if you're interested. I'd been a little disheartened by my attempt to carve lino, but carving erasers was a much nicer experience!

It's nice to be able to give it a go, ink it, and then make adjustments. For instance, I had to get rid of a bit in the corner of the robo-postbox one. Also, don't forget to reverse things like writing if you are drawing directly on to the stamp... that's how I ended up with an exclamation mark before the envelope!

These are the sketches I worked from... and I'd love to think up some more. These will be great for stamping envelopes with. Check out the meet's stamping round-up for some great inspiration!

July 23, 2010

Vegan snickerdoodles

These are just delicious. Crunchy on the outside and a touch chewy on the inside. The perfect pick-me-up! I got the recipe from Vegan Yum Yum's book, the same one I got the apple strudel recipe from. Having a vegan housemate is certainly a good excuse to do some fun baking...

The recipe is over on the Vegan Yum Yum blog and for you aussies, I used nuttelex for the margarine and Ogran's "No egg".

July 16, 2010

Constance bunny from tollipop

Just the other day, I had the surreal experience of visiting tollipop and seeing my name staring back at me... I'd won the Constance bunny giveaway!

Here's Constance bunny, next to Clementine. I do hope that cup of tea is for me. There are so many lovely prints & originals available from the tollipop etsy shop.

It's so cute, I immediately wanted to make a little stuffed Constance bunny toy. I sketched a quick design or two, and we'll see if I find the time/energy to whip it up!

If you're quick, there's another tollipop giveway going at the moment! So head on over if you'd like a wee original for yourself. Especially if you like bunnies and icecream...

July 12, 2010

The envelope project

I'm a late comer to the Envelope project over at Meet me at Mike´s. I was motivated to join in the fun after seeing the envelopes that Anna Bartlett and Ingela Parrhenius sent in. The idea is that the decorated envelopes will be displayed in Pip's shop, and then one participant will be drawn at random and will receive the contents of all the envelopes. You can see the full set of photos over at flickr. If you want to join in, make sure your envelope arrives before the 2nd of August!

Here's a sneak peak of the contents of my envelope. On the left is a sweet gocco print of a bowerbird from Stellar Baby. On the right are two bookmarks - one is from a Colombian book shop (it says "reading is the key") and the other is from New Caledonia.

Related posts:

July 6, 2010

Cute as a button.... cuff-link!

I am not posting because I've found a great new tutorial, nor do I have something something I've made to share with you... It's just that these cuff-links make me happy! I bought this shirt from an op-shop recently and didn't realise until I got home that it required cuff-links.

Fortuitous, then, that I dropped by Shop handmade for some retail therapy, and found these cuties by Lilypad Designs.

June 27, 2010

Birds and bears on bags, oh my!

Spurred on by the 6th International Morsbagging Sunday and a request to donate bags for a "rubbish and bag free" primary school fĂȘte in Melbourne, I whipped up 11 Morsbags last Sunday. Two of these were stencilled...

This bag was decidedly plain and brown, so I decided it needed jazzing up with some birds sitting around on a wire. Which I made into a branch on the spur of the moment by branching one end and making the second one a little curvy.

Of course, once finished, I realised it looked a little silly. Talk about the world's strongest, skinniest branch!

Also, I recommend properly ironing down the freezer paper stencil and always painting away from the edges. Otherwise you end up with blobs like those you can see in the close-up above. But remember... it's a branch! Saved!

Shared under an cc-by-nc license
{source: Dr Case}

The inspiration for this stencil came from the above picture, snapped by Justin Case in Barcelona. I have a lot of my own pictures of street art that I've taken around the world which I also love to draw inspiration from.

The next Morsbag was cute on its own, made from a thrifted cushion cover. The polka-dots reminded me of snow flakes, so I decided a polar bear would be a nice addition.

Even though I've bought coloured screen painting ink, I still end up working predominantly in black and white.

And just to finish up, here's a picture of a stencilled Morsbag I made a little while ago from an old sheet. I have a lot more of this fabric, and I hope each one will each have a stencilled picture to distract people from the pattern!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...