Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Val's Winning Necklace

Quick post, here. This is necklace I made for Val, who had the winning entry in the Name-My-Necklaces contest :-) Her entry of "Weads" was just the quirky one I was looking for. I'll be putting this in the mail to her as soon as I can make it to the post office - this week has been busy at work (shoot - what week isn't!). At least I have a job, and I can be thankful for that these days!
A bit of a close-up:And the ribbon bag:I would like to say that I try to include at least one "special" bead in each necklace. In Val's, it is the green round bead with the gold and white spots near the top. These beads are made by at-risk youth in a wonderful program called "Hilltop Artists in Residence of Tacoma" or HART.
Excerpted from the Website: "In 1994, Tacoma's Hilltop area had a reputation as a gang and crack area. HART was established with a $20,000 City of Tacoma grant. That first summer, 15 students had the opportunity to create sculptures, silk-screens, and fused glass art. In the fall of 1994, we added glassblowing component as well and 60 students signed up. Students chose the heat and the personal danger of glassblowing over the risks they were taking on the streets. As the program attracted interest, gang members in colors would drift in and watch. Police officers would stop by to check on the situation.
The program gained a reputation for neutrality and success with disadvantaged youth." I have been to many of their events and have the utmost respect for the program. The youth are so jazzed about the program and it had literally saved lives. In addition to the many blown glass vases and other objects they create, they make and sell the beads I use in my Weads necklaces and for that, I'm grateful!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Ugliest Damn Apron"

Well, I sent this apron to Marcel (Aunt Pitty Pat's). And it was hard to put it in the mail, 'cause I just wanted to keep it! When I wrote to her to say I had put it in the mail, she mumbled something about how she was sure she would like it. I wrote back and said "Well....ya know.....there's always the chance you will think it's the ugliest apron ever! It's possible! If that's the case, I'll want you to be sure to pack it right back up, let me know so I can send return postage, and mail it back to me. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen, yep. Dang, I should have included return postage in the package when I mailed it. Better yet, I probably should have just kept the ugly old thing right here with me and not assaulted your eyes with it :-)" Well, she received the apron today...and look at the e-mail she sent me:
"Nadine... the apron came and its the ugliest damn thing I have ever seen!!!" Of course, she followed that by saying that if I really thought she meant that, she was gonna come put a "pop knot" on my head for even thinking that, LOL! Now, I don't know what a "pop knot" is for sure, but it doesn't sound good, haha!
Here's the apron:

Now, there's a story behind this apron. I had ORIGINALLY made her a DIFFERENT apron. It was a fine apron. Nothing wrong with it. Had pink ball fringe, two layers - it was the A Is For Apron "Cakeland" apron. Did I mention it was fine? Of course, "fine" is not GREAT, but "fine" is pretty good. So then for the extras. I've been making some kind of a bag to put the apron and other goodies in to mail out. So...what to make...what to make? I didn't have enough of the apron fabric leftover to really do justice to any kind of bag.

And then I thought - well, heck I guess it doesn't HAVE to be the same fabric, does it? And I had some really fun fabric that I'd gotten awhile back from our local quilt shop. Did anyone catch those "Moda Good to the Last Swatch Scrap Bag" things - they contain approximately "40 color coordinated selvage strips" in a little brown bag for $9.99. Each bag equals about 2 1/3 yards of fabric. They are what's left over from making the 5" squares for Charm Packs. So, they are 40+ one yard long strips, 2 to 4 inches in width, representing the "edges" on each side of the lengthwise portion of fabric, and include both selvages - the "plain" one and the one with the maker's marks on them. They are cuter than snot :-) And I know about snot, because I've had a nasty cold/flu bug for over a week now!

I had bought all five of the available assortments (five little brown bags) and one was Valentine fabrics - again, they are all coordinated so you can just toss 'em together. So I decided to make a bag from those strips (rather than hoarding them until they rot into the ground like I tend to do with some fabric - "Oh, but if I use them, then they'll be gone and I won't have them anymore!!!" hahaha). Well, the bag turned out soooo darned cute that the original apron just looked like poop to me. Soooooo THAT apron is languishing in a corner, and I made a totally NEW apron using the strips. Hubby actually helped with the "planning" because I didn't use a pattern and he had some good ideas. I got both the bag and an apron out of the little brown bag, and I STILL have some left over! I'm thinking that $9.99 was a pretty good deal! I added some elegant black chiffon ruffle to the hem. Notice the ties are made with the selvages showing:

And I used some of the selvages in collage for the pocket:

Here's the bag:

And a close-up of the fabric flower on the bag, with buttons-and-pearls stamens spilling out of it - heck, I just make this stuff up sometimes! Must be the two glasses of wine I had.....

I added one of my "Weads" necklaces in a ribbon bag, and also a copy of Apronology. Now, is that just the ugliest damned apron you've ever seen, or what?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Swap Package

Look at the wonderful SSEN apron I got from Toebi! I love the fabrics and colors! And I love ruffles, so it is perfect for me! I wonder where she got the fabric? The waistband is curved, and she added ric rac on the pocket - how cute is that!

She also sent along lots of goodies, including a "lips" cookie cutter (and I didn't already have one!), and various kinds of candy. Look at the little bee candy - it's soooo cute! I don't know if I can bring myself to eat him :-) Thanks, Toebi, for a great swap package! I'll wear the apron often :-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tagged...and Bagged

Ok - I got tagged, and I'll fess up, but I'm not tagging anyone else. So if you really want to - feel free to tag yourself :-)
Here are the rules for the tag:
1. Post a picture of whatever bag you are using today - not last weekend when you and your hubby went out to that fabulous restaurant. No cheating!!! (Ok - I copied this from Marcel's Website - my husband and I would NEVER go out to a "fabulous restaurant" - his idea of "fabulous" is the tacky all-you-can-eat buffet three miles down the road.)
2. Tell us how much it cost. This is a no-judgment zone -- there will be no ridiculing or eye rolling here. And, if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, I'd love to hear it.
Here's my bag EMPTY:

I guess it cost MAYbe a buck or two. I know that the two straps were $.10 apiece (wooooo!), and the snaps probably cost a whole $.15 each. So far we have $.80. The denim was a remnant but it was so long ago, I can't possibly remember - not more than $.75 I'm guessing. The lining was linen left over from a jacket - cost $.20, if that much. There's some yarn, but so little I'll say $.30. Pretty high fashion, eh? I made it several years ago and have had several handmade bags since then. But I grew tired of the last one and dragged this one out of the closet about 3-4 months ago. Now....the theory is that if you make a SMALL bag, you'll only fill it up with SMALL things, right? Uh...wrong! I crammed that puppy FULL! It's time to move back to a bigger purse, I'm thinking! Here it is full:
And here's all the crap that was stuffed (and I mean STUFFED!) into it! Joann flyers, of course. A little notebook to write down the patterns I bought so that I wouldn't buy two...or three...or even FOUR of the same ones because I forgot which ones I'd already bought! Assorted grocery and store receipts. Of course I save only the ones I don't actually NEED - not the ones that could prove useful if I need to RETURN something, LOL! Note the "coordinated" check book thingie and the little bag for my credit cards and cash. Uh huh....purple and pink flowers....and orange and blue squiggly lines. They go together nicely, don't they? Tons of my coworkers have nicely matching "purse luggage" that I've made them....but I give myself the dregs, haha!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apron from Marcel!

Look at the wonderful apron I got from Marcel! I love the pattern - when I pulled it out of the shipping bag, I knew almost instantly it was Butterick 5263. I have that pattern and have been wanting to make it but wasn't sure what it would look like and how it would fit. Well, let me tell you - it's terrific! The "ties" button, as opposed to tying. Now, that can be a good thing...I don't want to get too graphic, but I did have a "mishap" one day while wearing an apron with extra-long ties...and having to make a quick trip to the bathroom, LOL!

Now, there's just no way to do this apron justice unless it's on a dress form or a real live body, but I don't have a dress form, and the real live body (me) has had the flu, so I'm not a pretty sight :-( Here's a closeup of one of the ties:

Look at the goodies that Marcel sent with the apron!

And how did she know I'm a shoe "whore"?????

I am soooo in love with these! The owl's name is Prudence Thimblebottom, although I keep calling her Prudence WHISTLEbottom for some silly reason. I had both sitting next to each other and instantly it hit me that they are "The Owl and the Pussycat." Too funny! Marcel told me that the pins in the Pussycat Pincushion are made using Shrinky Dink - can you believe it! I wouldn't have thought of that....might have to get into YET ANOTHER crafty endeavor, haha. Thank you Marcel, for the beautiful apron and so well made too! It fits perfectly and I absolutely love it, my very special friend :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

SSEN Valentine Apron Swap

Here's the apron I made for the Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice Apron Swap. Hope my partner likes it! I'll be a day late mailing out :-( but I just have to get everything right :-) and I'll post the rest of the goodies tomorrow. (Ignore that silly round thing at the bottom right - it's the door stop in my office at work!)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Amy Butler Swap - Ready to Mail!

My Amy Butler Swap is ready to go in the mail on Monday. This was a fun swap - lots of pretty fabric to choose from and as usual, I bought WAY more than I needed, LOL! See the apron in my previous post; I made a bag to "wrap" the apron in, and pleated the front to echo the apron. I used some vintage buttons that matched nicely.
I tossed in some extra goodies wrapped in another bag - using up some of the leftover fabric.
And I just had to make a coordinating necklace with my new name "Weads" (thanks to the wonderful Val!).