Tag Archive for Fabric

Madeline’s Moments

It’s always fun when family commissions you to make something! The following book was created for my cousin Alisa to give to her niece (and god-daughter), Maddie, on her confirmation day.

Madeline, who at the time was 7, loves writing and sketching. This book was intended to be a combination journal/sketchbook and also a place where friends and family could write letters/prayers.

I love the lime green/chocolate brown combo and this paisley paper allowed me the chance to throw in some hot pink accents.

LOVE. This. Paper!

Bronze letters were strung on a brown ribbon and attached to the cover with star-shaped brads.

Seriously, this paper! aah!! The colors, the whimsical pattern. Love it.

The star brads continued all the way around the back cover as well.

Since the ribbons wrapped all the way around the book, they allowed it to be tied shut.

My cousin let me know that the book was a hit. Several family members wrote letters to Maddie, shared photos and stories, and drew pictures.

If you’d like to make a keepsake album for a loved one, email me! I’d love to make one for you!

Handy Dandy Notebook

Several years ago, I made my sister a handmade journal cover for Christmas. And I just found the pictures of it (though most of the design process photos are missing *sad face*)!

That said, here’s a glimpse of what I made.

I started with some pleather/vinyl that was on sale at my local craft store. I measured and cut two hunks: one for the outside cover and one for the inside “pocket” flaps.

Then, since the wrong side of the fabric was so blah, I gave it a little pizzazz by painting it with a teal acrylic paint (which absorbed into the lining and gave it a nice, muted color).

My mother-in-law assisted me with sewing the flap fabric to the outer layer of fabric. ((I don’t own a sewing machine, nor do I know how to use one…add that to my crafting to-do list!))

These flaps would house the corners of a standard spiral-bound notebook.

Here is the finished piece unstuffed:

Complete with my sister’s doodles. :)

The covers of the notebook were then inserted into the sewn flaps.

Though I could’ve bound her a traditional journal or sketchbook, I wanted to make her a long-lasting cover that she could use for multiple notebooks. When you are a prolific writer like she is, you tend to go through a lot of notebooks!

I added a fun, jazzy button enclosure, too.

And here’s the finished product, all buttoned up and ready for the next story (based on the undone stitching around the button, you can tell this picture was taken months after the journal cover had already seen lots of action!)

Sonny, you are a terrific writer. I believe in you and your dreams. Go get ‘em!

Burlap Book

I mentioned in this post that I love making books for other artists. Some times, other artists are even willing to trade their art for mine. Win-win!

Abi and I were meeting up to do a photoshoot for BodSchool, my personal training business. She takes incredible photos and I wanted to bring a thank you gift that I could give her until I was able to make her official sketchbook.

In college, I purchased a book that teaches how to bind books without any glue. As you can imagine, that makes the process much quicker, as you don’t have to wait for anything to dry!

I had some burlap scraps another friend had given me and decided that would be the perfect material to try something new.

I chose to make a “quarto” sized book (a fourth of a page) from 8.5 x 11 paper. The final size was roughly 4.25″ wide x 5.5″ tall…a great little book for stuffing in a purse or camera bag!

I burned the edges of the burlap to give it a more finished look (and also in hopes it would keep it from fraying so badly). Have you ever smelled burnt burlap?! Eww.

Since Abi loves green, I chose olive-colored paper for the pages. It also looks really great with the earthy burlap, don’t you think?

The stitching I chose was Long Stitch/Link Stitch. The sections are sewn together so the stitches are exposed on the spine like this:

I really like how you could see the stitches if you knew to look for them, but that the twine also blended in nicely with the burlap.

This was a really fast book the make. The thing that took the longest was learning the new stitch, but even that went quickly once I got the hang of it.

Abi, thank you again for being willing to trade art! I love making unique things for unique girls like you!

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Dear Abi

I believe everyone is an Artist. Some people may not recognize what they do as “art”, but it takes on so many different shapes and forms. Perhaps you’re surrounded by art right now and don’t even know it!

Cooking is an art. Loving your kids and keeping them fed, bathed, and entertained is an art. Crunching numbers in a budget is an art. Maintaining a healthy marriage is an art. Masterfully hammering boards together and building something that didn’t used to exist is an art.

Since art is everywhere, sometimes even the people who DO call themselves Artists don’t realize how many artistic passions they’ve left undiscovered.

One of my favorite artists, Miss Abi, is an A-MAZING photographer. And fashionista. And writer. And, and, and…as it turns out, a sketcher!! Who knew?!

Abi and I love to trade art with each other. She took some terrific photos for my new business, and I paid her back by making her an 8.5 x 11 sketchbook.

Her favorite color green in a fun pattern, plus her name and some BLING!

A pen loop (because what good is your sketchbook if you forget a pen?!) was built in as well.

Abi, thank you for being my go-to girl for all things photography (and fashion advice, which I am certain I desperately need more of!).

I love your zest for life and hope this book will be just one of the many places you chronicle all your dreams and adventures this year and beyond! Love you!

Woodland Birthday: Part 1

In my last post, I mentioned how much I LOVE planning parties. So, you can imagine my excitement when 2011 started and I realized my baby would be turning one year old.

In June.

Nevertheless, I began brainstorming early because, as any artist-mom knows, there isn’t a lot of free time for being creative (unless coming up with an idea for dinner counts).

The first thing I did was choose a theme. I had seen enough buzz on Facebook to know that many of my fellow moms were doing zoo, farm, or jungle themes for their babies’ first birthdays. I wanted something a more unique for B’s first birthday party, but I liked the idea of an animal-based theme. So, after plenty of lost sleep (WHY does my brain go 100 MPH when I’m trying to fall asleep at night?!), I landed on “woodland” as my focus.

I scoured the web for ideas and began constructing my inspiration board. I found photos of things I knew I wanted to include and also made a list of buzzwords I felt related well to the theme:

I knew I wanted to make favor bags for all of B’s little friends, so I began by contacting a friend of mine who had used burlap for her wedding (table runners, etc). She had scraps that she was more than happy to part with, so my mom sewed little square bags to contain the favors (picture coming in Thursday’s post).

Then, I began ordering a few specific items off Amazon, including these warbling bird whistles (probably more familiar to us parents than our kiddos!) The whistles came in four colors and we made sure no siblings received the same color.  I included a note with the whistle so people would know to “just add water.”

I found a picture of woodland critters online that I thought were darling, so I used the image as a template and re-drew them in Illustrator so I could use them throughout the party. I made these magnets using flat gemstones. Each guest got two magnets in their goody bag, and, again, no siblings received the same ones.

I also managed to find some really awesome colored pencils that were made from twigs! Each guest got two pencils apiece.

One of my favorite items in the goody bags were some woodland finger puppets. I found the instructions for sale on Etsy and ordered both sets of woodland animals (10 in all). My mom made two of each critter and I’m kicking myself now for not getting a photo of all of them together! Each child received one puppet. The leftovers (below) will be going in a time capsule for Beau to play with when he’s older.

Next, I began to focus on the food table (isn’t that everyone’s favorite part of a party?) I knew I wanted to make some signs describing the food, and though I’d made table tents in the past, I had always wondered if they could have a more 3D aspect.

They CAN! After messing around with some scrap paper, I felt confident that my little woodland signs could be more like pop-ups than flat pieces of paper! Most people probably wouldn’t notice the difference, but to me, this experiment was a big success!

Naturally, I wanted to have a great cake for Beau’s first birthday! What sort of baker would I be if my own son didn’t have a cool smash cake to destroy?! Since I have limited experience with fondant, I enlisted the help of my friend Anya, who is a fondant figures GENIUS! She came over to my house and gave me a lesson in figure-making. Since the party details didn’t include the eager beaver, I decided he would be perfect for the cake topper.

I did learn how to cover the cake board on my own, and added some chocolate-covered chow mein noodles as a dam…they also served to hold up the beaver’s tail since our 100-degree weather and high humidity kept making it want to break off! (ACK!)

And, of course, no party of mine would be complete without some sort of schematic. HA!

Since the party was going to be held at my in-laws’ house, I transported all my decor the night before and planned how I wanted the table to be set. Naturally, in my rush to get out the door, I had left my camera at home. So…I drew a sketch that would embarrass my art school professors. :)

But, it got the job done and made the day-of prep MUCH easier. It also gave me a spot to write down what else I needed to grab from my house…something that would not have been possible with a photo.

Come back Thursday and see how all the elements came together! I couldn’t have imagined the party would go so well!

Donna’s Turn

I know a gal named Donna who is one of the sweetest, giving people you could ever hope to know. She’s always putting others before herself, so I was ecstatic when she asked me if I would make a custom journal for HER. Just for her.

Her thoughts.

Her prayers.

Her struggles.

Her dreams.

Her gratitude.

Her frustrations.

Oh, the many things we can write in a journal that is for our eyes only!

Donna wanted a journal that was artsy and fun and had a biblical Scripture inside the front cover to set the tone for her journaling. Donna chose Psalm 51:10.

I just love this wild (but not too crazy) patterned paper, don’t you?!

Donna is a mom to four very energetic and imaginative kiddos and I wanted to make sure they knew this journal belongs to Mama and no one else! I added marquee letters to the front to personalize the cover.

As any parent knows, it’s good to occasionally have some ‘me-time’, whether you use it for journaling, exercise, gardening, reading, or just drinking a glass of wine alone! :) I am sure Donna has already begun filling up the pages of this book with the contents of her heart, soul, and mind.

Donna, when this book is full and you’re ready for another, let me know. From one mom to another, I want to help make sure you have the space you need to ‘roam free’…at least on paper!

Day 15 AEDM: Baby Girl Photo Album

I hinted about it and gave a couple sneak-peek shots in this post.

Here’s the final product…a personalized photo album that I made for my SIL Ali and her soon-to-arrive (in January) 3rd little girl, Ensley Grace.

I’ve been waiting for the perfect reason to use this fabric!

cover

I love adding names to the front of albums. There will be no mistaking to whom this book belongs!

ensley

Satin ribbon tie closures:

ties

The back cover. The paste pages and the photo pages both coordinate with the cover fabric.

guts

Day 11 AEDM: Tee Makeover

I love being a mama and I love being an artist. Some days the former trumps the latter. Like today.

My poor baby’s congestion got the better of him and he refused to nap. Well, he cat-napped. But only as long as I was holding him.

Needless to say, I am lucky to have been able to do much of anything (I got in a cardio workout, made a quick trip to Kohl’s, washed three loads of laundry, AND managed to make dinner!)

I call this “Mish Mash Pizza”…I really didn’t have much of a dinner plan, but what I did have was a half-cup of pesto sauce, some pre-cooked chicken strips, a tomato from my MIL’s garden, some bacon, and a tube of Pillsbury pizza crust. Ta da! Dinner is served. And my fridge is sorta tidied up, too! :)

Day11Pizza

I also managed to whip together a little project using this relic from the bowels of our closet. Ever since I had my baby, none of my clothes seem too appealing to me. About a week ago, I remembered seeing this book and, LUCKY ME, the library had it!

start

One episode of “The Office” later, and I had this new redesigned tee to wear.

finished

It’s cute…with little drawstring accents and everything.

Photo 250

I took some step-by-step pics of the process, but Lord help me, I’m tired after such a long day. I learned some things I’d love to share and I also came up with some tweaks I’d like to try.

I think I’ll do this again sometime with a new shirt that doesn’t make me look so boxy. In the meantime, this one will be perfect to wear while I make artistic messes! ;)