Saturday, June 4, 2011

Free Fisher Price Little People Avatars: Set Two

Here is Set Two of my free Fisher Price Little People Avatars. I will be posting 8 a week, every Saturday, until I run out of them. I have roughly 60 in all.

Each image is 72 pixels/inch; 96x96 pixels.

To save the images, right-click the photo and choose either "Save Picture As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Image As" (Firefox). This will open a file save dialog box, allowing you to specify a folder on your system to save the image into.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Vintage Beaded Applique Patterns, 4th of July Fascinators

Recently I mentioned that I received a small length of black beaded trim from my mother. I turned some of it into earrings, and I'm using the rest in my leather bracelet project. Now that I'm all out of it I wish I had more of it.

Black is one of those classic neutrals that can be used in a variety of designs, and black beaded elements lend hand made objects texture and a shabby chic appeal.

Since the trim is gone, I decided to re-create the trim myself. This lead me to research and create a few more patterns based on images of other vintage beaded trim.

Antique designs were beaded using tulle as the backing. Decent replacements today include thin suede, micro-suede, felt or interfacing depending on what you want to use your beaded elements for. I'm going to bead my ovals on black felt to match the black beads, since I want to copy the original trim pieces I was using as closely as possible.

I created the patterns by photographing the original pieces. I put the JPEGs in Photoshop, where I created a blank layer above the image. Then I drew over each bead with a square or rectangle, representing the original seed beads or bugle beads used. Working in this manner is not terribly accurate as some beads tend to blend into others with in the JPG image. Where I encountered this obstacle I used the overall scale of the beads as my guide in determining placement. Where bead count may not be accurate, the manner in which the elements are made (by beading upon felt or some other substrate) is rather forgiving and does not require an exact count.

UPDATE: My Photoshop guru told me I might have had better luck if I had increased the contrast on the image, or played with Photoshop's Levels function. Both of these options change the light/dark values of the image, which may make individual beads easier to see. My guru also recommends scanning the beads at a high resolution (around 300 dpi) which will make the overall image larger so it will be easier to see each bead.

Now on to preparations for celebrating the 4th of July!

When my sister Sharon, comes to visit in July we are getting together to have a Fascinator Party. This was inspired by all the fabulous and outrageous hair pieces, brooches, and hats worn for the celebration of Kate Middleton and Prince William's Wedding.

My mother has already begun practicing and creating her own pieces. Here is a sneak peek at one she already made. I love what she has done so far!

I can't wait till Sharon gets home for out party! It will be so much fun! I'll be sure to take lots of photos of the party for my blog!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Embroidery Kaftan Upcycle to Sweet Clutch

On my latest trip to the thrift store I found 2 Indian caftans that were in need of repair. Both have oodles of pretty details. I purchased them with the intent of up-cycling, so once I reached home I carefully seam-ripped them apart.

Coincidentally yesterday I found an easy clutch pattern from keykalou's etsy shop (her Curvy Clutches/Wristlets). I decided the pattern would be perfect for the wine colored caftan.
Here are some of my caftan pieces cut out for the purses, along with some scrap fabric I had on hand as well.

The embroidery on the pink fabric is a bit weird. It consists of bead and sequin embroidery and also silver slick paint. Up close it looks rather cheap. But the design was pretty enough that I bought it anyway. Maybe I can use it as inspiration for a different embroidery pattern.

Also, I'm not using the recommended fabric type for keykalou's the pattern. The caftan fabric is sheer chiffon, so I have to back each piece with a thicker rayon fabric to keep the purse's interfacing from showing through. The scrap fabric is some sort of acrylic blend and is slightly stretchy. I'm applying fray check to all the edges of both fabrics to prevent them from fraying to pieces. The iron-on interfacing called for in the pattern should prevent my scrap fabric from stretching while I'm working with it.

As with all my projects, I'll post the finished project once it's done with a link back to the original post where the project began.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Incomplete Projects Wednesday and My Earrings are Featured on an Etsy Treasury List!

As most crafty people, I have a lot of unfinished projects lying about. They were abandoned for various reasons; frustration, loss of patience, lack of materials to complete the job, of the distractions of daily life.

Beginning today I'm making a resolution and naming Wednesdays Incomplete projects day!
Post in comments about your unfinished project and try to get a little of it done or better yet, finish it.

To kick off Incomplete Projects Wednesday I'm going to start with baby steps. I have 2 button brooches that I must sew the backs on and post in my Etsy shop. They have been lying around for nearly 3 months waiting to be finished, but I got excited over new projects and never finished them.

They are backed upon the thickest Pellon interfacing I could find and have a peyote stitched bezel about the centers. The leaves are vintage Czech glass leaves. I wish I had more of those leaves I haven't been able to find more in that particular shape. They have a slight curve to them that pinwheels nicely when they are laid into a circle pattern.

I'm also pleased to announce that a pair of my Gane Piece Earrings is featured on a treasury list by Etsyian aimeere!

Here is her treasury list compliments of Craft Cult!

I love her color scheme. My favorite thing on her treasury list is Two tone part II.... Green tone Cotton Dress. Thanks, aimeere!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Leather/Vinyl Leaf Bracelet; Vinyl purse upcycle

As mentioned before in my post on leather bead caps, I have a lot of leather from my DH's stash that I want to do something with. I also recently picked up a cheaply made yellow vinyl purse at the local Goodwill with the intent of up-cycling it. It all sat in a pile on my work table until I came across this bracelet by Roxanne Assoulin on Style Hive.

The post for it is 48 months old so I couldn't find any more information about it other than what StyleHive had listed. While I love the bracelet I hate to copy a look too much, so I'm going to attempt to make my own version of it over the next few days. I will likely add beaded elements and perhaps a few other things to make my own unique spin-off.

To begin, I took apart my vinyl thrift store purse. It was cheaply made and with the help of a seam ripper it came apart within 30 minutes. To give you an idea of just how cheaply made this was; the interfacing inside was not even interfacing! It consisted of thin cardboard!

Then I created simple leaf patterns in Photoshop.

I traced the leaves onto the purse body, and some of my DH's purple and teal suede. The photo below shows the pieces after cutting. I also did some additional floral shapes to experiment with at a later date.

I wanted some beaded elements, so I incorporated little piece of vintage black beaded trim my mother gave me. I've been in love with these for a while -- I made earrings out of it for my Etsy shop, and now I'm using the extra pieces in this bracelet.

The vinyl and leather I'm using is not stiff enough to stand alone, so I have to back each piece with thick black leather to provide support. I also like the black border it provides for each leaf, plus it makes the beaded ovals look a little larger.

Here is the layout I'm going to use.

As you can see I have already begun to add veins to the leaves with waxed cord. I'm using a long embroidery chain stitch for the vein detail.

Next I have to hand sew everything together and make some sort of clasp. I'll post the rest of the process another day.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mid Century Abraham Palatnik Find and Cinecromatico! and Lunch at the Ritz Republican Earrings!

My twin, Charlotte, recently found this fantastic treasure. An Abraham Palatnik Lucite Toucan! Isn't he awesome! I love the stripes against the transparency of his body!It gives a wonderful illusion of movement and is glossy like real feathers.

She's selling him here on Ebay. I'm quite jealous of her items at the moment. I may have to bid on him. There is a zebra by the same artist on etsy.

Palatnik's art is all about motion, light and color. His most famous works are his Cinecromático machines that project images of colorful, fluid, random, light in motion upon walls.
You have got to see this video of his machine in action (from Vernissange TV)! It's like a giant lava lamp, but far more trippy!

Can you imagine this at exhibition size?!

I'm so jealous of Charlotte's toucan; that she has a piece of something so fabulous and beautiful!

Charlotte also has the Republican Earrings I blogged about (bottom of the post) on Ebay!

Evidently they come from a well known and collectible designer. Lunch at the Ritz earrings are customizable and quite expensive. Here are the Republican Earrings on Ebay.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mmmmmm Figs!

Every spring we eagerly watch the ripening of figs on our fig tree. Just as the hot summer weather arrives they turn a beautiful dark plum color and are ready for backyard barbecues and potlucks.

The easiest (and most rewarding) fruit to grow in North Texas, in my humble opinion, are figs.

I have 1 fig tree/shrub in the ally behind the house and I hardly do anything to care for it other than water it occasionally and race to pick the fruit before the birds eat it.

I received a cutting of my in-laws fig tree 8 years ago, rooted it in rooting hormone and perlite, then planted and watered it until it took root. Now I have so many figs my neighbors have been given permission to help themselves (and they happily oblige).

I have also noticed that since my fig tree was planted other neighbors have planted their own in their alley way plot.

Our favorite ways to eat them:
If you can get some fig cuttings you can root your own too. Here is a YouTube video by mtlfigs showing you how to root cuttings in a plastic bag.

Once they are rooted you will want to plant them and care for them so here is a link for fig tree care (from Texas A&M).