Today when my Fred Flare newsletter hit my inbox I was super excited to see one of the Valentines I made for charity smiling back at me from the top right hand corner! “Dog Gone Right You are my Valentine” could be yours for just $4 and the proceeds go to Elder craftsman. You can also see the one I made that says “A Valentine for You Son” on the Fred Flare website. Cute as can be handmade Valentines for a good cause, what’s not to love.
I’m a little late in posting the deets on this, but in case you live in New York you could hand deliver. Etsy is running a similar project where they are gathering cards for City-Meals on Wheels. If you are really feeling charitable you could overnight your Valentine card for a Monday delivery when the deadline is. Here is all the info from Etsy…
There is too much love on Etsy for us to keep it to ourselves. So this year, we decided to share the love with a project we're calling Special Delivery. This Valentine's Day, we're teaming up with Citymeals-on-Wheels to bring nutritious meals, handmade greeting cards and companionship to thousands of homebound elderly New Yorkers.
"Gee, that's nice, but how do I get involved?"
Easy! We need your help to supply the cards. Citymeals-on-Wheels serves over 18,000 people, so we need as many as we can get. There are two ways to do this. The first is (you guessed it) to make your own card or send in a vintage card from your shop and fill it out with a nice message. Please craft as many valentines as you would like and send them to us. Before you send them, you can also post photos of your cards in our brand new Special Delivery flickr group.
If you don't have time to make cards, you can buy them and have them delivered to us. The deadline for us to receive the cards is Monday, February 2, 2009. There are a few other important guidelines for this, so please carefully read the FAQ's below.
"Ok, then what happens?"
Special Delivery! We will collect all the cards and bring them to Citymeals-on-Wheels, where each will be delivered along with a meal on Valentine's Day. Several of the Etsy admin will be volunteering that day. We'll be tromping around the city with hot meals and friendly conversation to brighten the day of local seniors.
"Is that all?"
No! Each Etsy member who sends a card (or cards) will be featured on a Special Delivery page that will be linked from a banner on the Etsy home page. When you send your cards, please include a separate note with your username and user ID number. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
1. How do I participate in Special Delivery?
Two ways. Either make or purchase a handmade Valentine's Day greeting card (or several). Please mail them to:
Attn: Adam Brown
325 Gold St. Floor 6
Brooklyn, NY 11201
If you make the card(s), please be sure to include a note with your Etsy user name and ID number. If you buy the cards, please ask the seller to include a note with your Etsy user name and ID number when they mail the package to the above address.
*To find your user ID number, go to your shop home page. The number is at the end of the web address. It will look like this: etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=123456. So, in this example it's 123456.
2. When do the cards have to arrive at Etsy?
The deadline is Monday, February 2, 2009. This is important!
3. Are there any rules about what the cards should look like?
Yes. Please follow these guidelines, otherwise we can't use your card(s):
No glitter! This creates food safety issues.
Please make your cards cheerful by using bright colors. You can decorate cards using paint, crayons, markers, pastels, collage or anything else you can think of.
Please avoid dark backgrounds and religious symbols.
Please write clearly and in large print, and avoid using the abbreviation “V-day”. Please say, “Valentine's Day”.
You should not give out your address or suggest that the recipients write back to you. Initiating an ongoing correspondence is not appropriate.
Please make sure that the cards are appropriate for the intended audience. That is to say, pretend it's for your elderly grandma, not your snarky, angst-ridden teenage brother.
4. How many cards should I send?
As many as you want!
5. If I buy a card, does the seller get credit too?
No, but you could certainly tell them about Special Delivery and encourage them to send us their handmade cards, too. In that case they should include their own user names and ID's as well.
6. Is this open only to Etsy sellers?
Nope. This is open to anyone who wants to help brighten someone's day. You do have to be an Etsy member to be included on the Special Delivery page, though.
7. Can I send vintage cards?
Sure! The more, the merrier.
8. What's that deadline again?
We need to have all of the cards in our hot little hands by Monday, February 2, 2009. Thanks!
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
This is our second Friday of onesie making how-to goodness. Last Friday we conquered personalized appliqués and today we dive into the world of embroidery. I’m embarrassed to say that I have had Jenny Hart’s Stitch It Kit since before it hit the shelves, hell I’m even thanked in the acknowledgements and I have never before the last few months tried my hand at the skill. Pregnancy will do strange things to a woman determined to have a wardrobe of cute crafty clothes for their child, plus I figured how hard can it be? I knew Jenny had written crystal clear instructions and from time to time given me personal quickie lessons as had my mother. I did after all use a whip stitch on the All Access Pass Badge Holder project in The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girls Guide to Handmade Jewelry so I was not totally clueless.
Let me start out by saying that Sublime Stitching carries tons of adorable embroidery patterns that would be just as cute on big girl clothes as they are on baby clothes. It’s hard not to go embroidery crazy with all the choices. Vickie loaned me her copy of Craft Pad and I started to go nuts eventually stopping at 6 onesies and 2 T-shirts for my nieces. It gets addictive and embroidery floss comes in so many pretty colors.
My first, and roughest attempt, was using Sublime Stitching vital organs patterns. My stitches got progressively better so Lil’ Whip will have some rough looking size 0-3 month onesies, they are better in the 3-6 month size and by the time he/she is in the 9 month range I had hit my stride.
1) Iron pattern onto clothing. Don’t use the steam or hold the iron there for too long so you can reuse your pattern several times.
2) Stretch your outfit into the embroidery hoop
3) Choose your stitch of choice and floss colors. I attempted several different stitches to start and eventually settled into a split stitch half way through my lungs.
4) Try the onesie on to make sure it is going to fit.
I cut my teeth on the vital organs and moved onto the Stitch Pad for round 2 and the larger sized onesies. Chris plays drums and his kit is orange so this onesie was a gift for him. It's ok to giggle at the Olan Mills picture of Chris in a suit playing drums and his polic officer brother in his uniform, we do.
The little rock-a-billy style onesie was a gift for mommy. I was getting better, but the lettering on True Love was pretty tricky and maybe a split stitch is not the right stitch for lettering? Suggestions anyone?
I think I was most proud of my teal horse onesie. By this point I started to realize the smaller your stitches the better. I also became more comfortable with switching out my floss colors more often, hence this rainbow pony magic.
For a brief moment I was worried about confusing Lil’ Whip on the way of the world, like the fact that there really is no such thing as a horse of a different color. But then I snagged a copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? By Eric Carle at the thrift store and right there in the center of the book was a picture of a blue horse and I felt better about things.
Tomorrow is my Austin baby shower and what are we doing you ask? Not tasting baby food or wrapping me with toilet paper, we are making onesies! We have 3 tables set up with paint, embroidery, stencils, iron-ons, fabric appliqués and more. The whole dang Austin Craft Mafia and then some should be here so next Friday I will give you a round up of what these crafty ladies whipped up. I didn’t register for baby clothes because I was counting on scoring a new handmade wardrobe for Lil Whip tomorrow!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I watch Tool Academy on VH1 and I am not ashamed to publicly admit it. While were at it I also enjoy several shows on their craptastical mind numbing line up like Sober House, Confessions of a Teen Idol and my very favorite Rock of Love Bus. I could pull the “I’m pregnant and need to lay around and watch a lot of TV and rest card”, but I won’t. Hell I even hosted a Rock of Love finale party last year just check out all my smokin' hot hottie friends in the picture. While we are on the subject of confessions I have seen Poison in concert twice and had “Open Up and Say..Ahh” on cassette! Now that I have cleared the air, let’s talk about last Sunday. I was snuggled in watching “my stories” and how excited was I too see the testosterone fueled boys of Tool Academy playing with hot glue, glitter, puffy paint and more. Don’t believe me? The proof is in the pictures. Oh and if you care, consider this your spoiler alert.
If you have never seen Tool Academy let me give you a very brief synopsis. These dudes and their girlfriends are all living in a house competing against each other to win cash prizes and more importantly the dudes are there to win back their girlfriends who are all on the verge of dumping their sorry butts. This week their challenge was about humility and involved a little crafting project. Just look at this stash of gem stones, doll heads and colorful pom poms they had to work with!
This guy Shawn (AKA Loud Mouth Tool), who ultimately won the competition, was the first we saw to jump in and rev up a glue gun. This guy was crafting like he knew what he was doing and I love that in a man. Maybe a glue gun is how he gets his hair to stick up like that?
Disenchanted girlfriend Aida is the meat in a crafty dude sandwich in this picture. To her left she has Tommy (AKA Slacker Tool) wielding another hot glue gun and on her right Shawn working a bottle of hot pink puffy paint.
Did the producers for Tool Academy read my blog post on making pipe cleaner tiaras because that sure appears to be what Krista is whipping up in this picture? Dead beat boyfriend Tommy has left her to briefly craft alone so that he can pep talk his muscle head buddy Rob (AKA Power Tool) about the fact that it’s ok to craft and he doesn’t want to see him getting kicked off just because of a fear of glitter.
After their outfits were properly adorned and the cookies were all wrapped with care the boys loaded up in a cargo van setting out to show the Girl Scouts how it’s really done. Ryan (AKA Naked Tool) who usually opts for a wardrobe of nothing but manties adorned himself as Captain Cookie. His partner in crime Clarence (AKA Party Tool) seemed to take a liking to the googly eyes and although he gets kicked off on this episode he does get bonus points from me for incorporating in a foam craft visor with his outfit.
The humility contest involves the boys swallowing their pride and combing Universal Studios in silly outfits selling cookies like a cigarette girl at a night club. The winner gets a princess and prince date with their girlfriends and a conjugal visit. No I’m not kidding it’s like being rewarded for good behavior in prison. The idea of a little one on one time with their ladies really gets the competition in gear and the Tools race off to out sell each other.
Just minutes before Rob was being a pouty little bitch not wanting to craft and sell cookies and right before our eyes he transforms into one of the most humble tools in the group allowing people to kick his buns of steel for money. He really does make a 180 and I was on the verge of welling up with tears of pride, but that was just my hormones. I also like this group of pseudo punkers that are doing the punching and kicking. They had their little tattoos and Misfits belt buckles on so they must be punk. Look kid if it came from Hot Topic and you are spending a bright sunny Saturday afternoon shopping at Universal Studios I hate to tell you but this punk thing is not working out for you so well.
After time is called the boys wait anxiously for the cash to get tallied and to find out who is going to quote Shawn “Get Some” – they don’t call it Tool Academy for nothing. Rob and Josh (AKA Playa Pimpin' Tool) look on in their puffy painted outfits.
In the end Shawn the mastermind behind the men’s underwear with a condom pocket was officially selected as the winner. He was pretty smug about his victory which eventually led to some in fighting amongst the tools, but in the end all is fair in love, crafts and cookies.
Speaking of crafty TV tune into DIY Network to watch me and the Austin Craft Mafia ladies Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on Stylelicious. Saturday we are chatting it up about belts and I have a little show and tell about resin belt buckles like the ones my mom makes on Naughty Secretary Club. You might set your TIVO for this since the episodes come on at all kinds of crazy times!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Today concludes our journey through nurseryville. We started in the 70’s, brought things up to date and now today it is time to unveil Lil Whip’s nursery. I thought it best to show you the sections of the room in before and after format to get the full effect. Needless to say we are not finished and the room is a work in progress, but let’s be real Lil’ Whip will barely be able to see 3 feet in front of his or her little cone shaped bald head when he/she comes home so nothing says it has to be done before March 2nd.
First things first the whole room is based around this amazing fabric I found at Repro Depot which I can not find anymore to save my life. I loved the colors, the cheetahs, the polka dots – I pretty much love everything about it. Currently we just have the fabric incorporated into the room with the curtain, but there is more on the way don’t you worry your pretty little head.
So onward to tour the nursery. What started as our spare bedroom AKA room where I kept all my jewelry, purses, shoes and clothing and became after a massive purging a baby’s room!
Since I am most proud of the amazing curtain my mother Fredda Perkins made for me I will start there. When the room was still my dressing boudoir there were torn up mini blinds that were in the house when we moved in and a kimono hanging as a curtain. As an aside I am having that very kimono made into a baby sling for me by Etsy seller Raspberry Baby as we speak!
The mini blinds were beat to poop so we needed something, in the meantime we opted for foil which gave the room from the outside the nice and cozy appearance of a meth lab. We also removed the carpet from all the back bedrooms and hallways and had faux wood flooring installed. Last Chris painted the peach walls a lovely shade of aqua. Almost the exact color of the exterior of our house.
Paranoid new mom comment of the day: I read to get rid of blinds with cords so we opted for a linen colored cellular shade. We also started moving furniture in at this point. My mother-in-law loaded us up with a few heirlooms like the Cowboy Chris coat rack that I am not a big fan of and the clown balloon light that I actually really like. Both belonged to Chris as a child so I’ll fit them in somewhere.
A couple of weeks ago Chris went to Japan for the week and my mom arrived with the curtains in hand. The woman did not even use a pattern and they were perfect: double lined, scalloped edges, purple trim – I have pretty much decided I want her to make curtains for every room in my house! Is there anything this woman can’t do? I have a touch of the craft envy.
Here fellow preglet Vickie Howell and I are standing in front of mom’s handiwork at the Mommy Meet Up for yet another picture of my favorite curtains in the whole wide world. I never knew I could feel this way about a window treatment!
Next let’s chat about the wall to the left or south of the room, the window faces west.
Luckily with all the room reshuffling Chris and I moved into the master bedroom of our house and I was able to accommodate some of the excess furniture like this 1950’s barber station and book shelf in our new room.
I hear mixed reports on whether dedicated changing tables are a waste of money but for $30 at IKEA how could I say no?
Next just the right art selection was important. I opted for a couple of prints from Berkley Illustrations, The Presidential Facial Hair Hall of Fame by Elloh and you remember the big debate about choosing just the right alphabet print for the wall? Well I finally went with Y & Z Print by Monkey Powered (though I am thinking about switching it out with her ABC Print. I also for some odd reason had this clock sitting on a shelf for ages that worked perfectly. Colorful frames to match.
Here is a nice vantage of the whole wall. I’d also like to point out the amazing toy box that I scored at a thrift store for $18. It is from the 50’s, covered in red sparkly vinyl and in almost perfect condition. It looks like a little mini bench to start, but the seat lifts up and there is a toy box. BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE! The back of the bench comes forward to rest on two hooks on either side of the box you sit on and catches the back so that it becomes a little writing desk. The seat back is hard wood and covered with little doodles from previous owners.
Onward to the crib wall....
This wall faces east in the room and started as nothing more than a space for my shoe racks.
After a serious shoe purge and the purchase of several over the closet door shoe holders the wall was cleared and painted aqua.
Not that the baby will be sleeping in the crib anytime soon, we have something set up in our room for the first few months, I still thought it was a good idea to go ahead and get that bad boy in place. As mentioned we opted for IKEA because after all even though this crib does convert to a toddler bed we decided not to spend several hundred dollars on something that was going to last a couple of years. You can see how naked the little slats look at this point and understand my dilemma about the crib bumpers. Hell I’m sure I will take that little pillow out of the crib before I dare put the baby in. By the way the little pillow is one I made with my grandmother in 1981. I apparently drew a bunch of stuff for my mother and then my grandma embroidered my art onto this pillow. Vickie has a project for it on her blog.
This is one lucky baby because the most expensive piece of art in my entire house which used to reside in my living room is now hanging above the crib. I hope she/he appreciates "Quietly".
Last but not least the other part of the west wall with the window and the north wall...
Let’s start with the obligatory before picture to give you an idea of our starting point. This bed is now in our spare bedroom and the jewelry has found various new homes around the house.
Yet another before picture when we were having our new flooring installed.
Sweet little Chrissy put all our furniture together as I sat, watched and documented. Here he is putting together our red rocking chair, well it’s more of a bouncing chair actually.
Ta-da the finished back wall and corner complete with red shelves and yellow/green lockers. That’s right kids, lockers. I picked these vintage school lockers up from a flea market for $50 and with a little elbow grease and some paint they are my storage in the room. Mom cut boards for the insides to split up the lockers and there are little baskets inside holding socks, hats, burp clothes, blankies and more. I’d also like to point out that my mom took home the head rest pillow for my chair. She is covering it with the window treatment fabric and is going to reattach the pillow when she is Austin next, I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.
I decided to move my collection of vintage Dream Pets into Lil Whips room I thought he/she might appreciate them.
The top shelf is adorned with more vintage stuffed goodness, a set of Sesame Street books I picked up at the thrift store, monkey candy daddy Chris brought home from Japan, a Japanese photo album I bought in Peoria, ILL last Christmas and a signed Peter Max print.
Then we come full circle back to my dreamy new curtains that started it all.
I hope Lil Whip likes his/her new room, I sure do.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Vickie Howell has a new fun video out to help all you knitters celebrate Valentines day. Even if you don’t knit you might appreciate her jewelry in the video. Look for a Kiss is on My List Ring and The Hots Earrings, hand made by yours truly! Some of my valentine day favorites if I do say so.
Looking for some more Valentine day jewelry options? Well we here at Naughty Secretary Club made a little picture montage of a few of our Valentine Day faves to make your shopping that much easier.
Friday, January 23, 2009
One night while Chris and I were getting ready for bed in December he made a crack that he thought the baby should have an outfit with a big picture of his face on it. If only he knew what Santa was already planning on brining him!
I’ve decided to do a post on Onesies (or in this case a baby T-shirt) for the next 6 weeks which should lead me right up to baby arrival time. Keep in mind with each of these crafty how-to projects that they work for adult clothes as well as baby clothes (just check out my applique idol Aorta for proof). So if the thought of kids makes you gag like it did me not so very long ago you could easily use the idea in this project to appliqué your favorite jean jacket, hoodie, skirt – you name it.
I have to say that as always my mother came in mighty handy with this project. That Fredda Perkins is a wiz with the fabrics and sewing machine. I made this T-shirt when I was up visiting my parents as I needed it to be a stealth project since it was a surprise for Chris. As you can see from the picture of him on Christmas day holding up the finished project, surprised he was! Also my copy of Complete Embellishing by Kayte Terry was quite useful with all her applique tutorials.
First I started with a logo for his band that our friend Jeff Conway had designed. I always loved this illustration of Chris and thought it would be easy to transform into an appliqué.
Steam a Seam
1)I altered my image on the computer to make the image of Chris’s face the same size as the T-shirt. I also got rid of the text that said Chris Boehk. I printed several copies of the image out onto printer paper.
2)Gathered up my supplies.
3)Cut apart the parts of Chris's head like his hair, eyes and mouth.
4)Stick your Steam a Seam to the back of the flesh colored fabric. Then using artist tracing paper, trace the facial features onto the front side of the fabric.
5)Once you have finished cut out the whole head shape in the flesh colored fabric. The head should have all the features traced onto it.
6)Attach the sticky side of the Steam a Seam to the brown fabric you are using for hair and eyebrows. Trace the pattern for the hair onto the Steam a Seam sheet (with the protective paper still on the side you are tracing).
7)Do the same thing and make an applique out of white fabric for the mouth and eyes.
8)Remove the protective paper from the back of the flesh colored face and stick that piece onto the T-shirt. The fusible product is sticky enough to hold the pieces together with out pressing but it can still be peeled up and moved around if need be. When you are happy with the placement of the piece iron it to the shirt following the manufacturer's directions. Peel the protective paper from the back of the hair and stick it in it's place over the flesh colored fabric. Same with the eyes and eyebrows and the white mouth. Following the manufacturer's directions, iron the facial features permanently in place.
9)With dark brown thread use the satin stitch on your sewing machine to outline all around the head. Next outline the mouth, nose, and the lines under the eyes. As an alternative, you could just sew a straight stitch to out line the head then hand embroider the eye lines, nose and mouth with black embroidery thread using a satin stitch.
The finished project is a doppelganger for the original picture and Chris’s wish came true now the baby has a shirt with a big picture of his face on it. No questioning who the baby daddy is.
Another appliqué alternative is using a pre-existing image on fabric. My mother happens to hoard Barkcloth and lucky for me has tons in the juvenile variety that make perfect little appliqués like circus elephants, cowboys, kittens and more!
First things first select the graphic you would like to use. Peel off one side of the backing of the Steam a Seam and attach to fabric then cut out the shape.
Next decide on the placement of your appliqué. Peel backing off of Steam a Seam and iron on to set permanently.
You can do a decorative embroidery stitch around the edges if it tickles your fancy. We opted for a lime green blanket stitch around the edges of the elephant.
The finished product is pretty a-doorbell if I do say so myself. Look for fun designs on sheets, towels and more!
Be sure to tune in for the next several Fridays as we continue the onesie party with embroidery, stencils, iron-ons and more!