Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't get used to this!

It won't be every week that files will be uploaded to this blog. I'm still working about 60 hours a week, but stealing 15 minutes or so a day in the studio to stitch.

Someone posted photos of a couch throw made from re-purposed plaid sweaters on Pinterest. That's like waving a red flag in front of me. "What if..." and I'm off! This is a 54" x 60" throw made from cotton sweaters. I made one from acrylic sweaters a couple of weeks ago. It was wonderfully snuggly, but I like the weight of a blanket when I'm really cold, so wanted to try it in cotton. It's machine washable in cold water and can be dried in a home clothes dryer.

This detail shows the contrasting textures of the knits. I really like trim as the edging on the sides. This one is for a long-time friend (since 7th grade), who isn't a fringe kinda girl. Eventually, I'll make one for myself with chenille looped fringe on the top and bottom.

The pieces are cut from freshly washed sweaters, the edges are serged, and then stitched together with a straight stitch to make strips of irregular size (but same width) pieces of sweater. I think I can get two throws from 10 sweaters.

I had a ball searching through Good Will ($4.50 a sweater) and Salvation Army ($3.00 a sweater), but hit the mother lode at St. Vincent De Paul at 50 cents a sweater.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Smoked salt and little plates

I've been working all summer on making my own smoked salt. Have tried bunches of (unsuccessful) techniques and finally found one that is mistake proof!

The goal was to make smoked salt for Christmas gifts—AND I wanted tiny salt plates and spice spoons to go with the salt.

I tried to commission two different ceramic artists to do what was in my head (1 1/2" diameter plates with irregular edges) but even at $20 per plate, couldn't get it to happen. THEN my friend Amy (who has a kiln in her studio) invited me to experiment.

The result is 8 sets of 4 plates each with tiny spice spoons (from the Montessori online store). Exactly what I had in mind. I am lovin' it!

The unpredictability of ceramic glazes prevailed and none turned out like I hoped, but some are even more awesome that envisioned!! The photo shows a coarse sea salt on one of the plates (matte black glaze) with the tiny spice spoon. Can't wait for the holidays!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

More Joy Jam!

I saw something similar on Pinterest and it really spoke to me. So, I made 48 of these for co-workers. They are Pocket Coupons. When you need love, hope, a hug, strength, comfort, or something else, tear the appropriate coupon off and tuck it in your pocket. I'm sending the thing you need to you at that very moment--by angel of course. :-)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fabric books for ASPCA

It may seem like I'm not doing much fiber work (it seems that way to me!) but I'm actually accomplishing a few things. The pages below are from two fabric books made as table centerpieces for the Fort Wayne ASPCA gala last week. 

This one is Wild Cats of Science

The inside back cover (cover 3) featured a library pocket with a note saying: "Every day is caterday. Be kind."

The pretend tome was authored by Truman Cat-pote and featured famous and not-so-famous cats of science.

The front cover looks like a little grass shack in the jungle and shows a very cat-like eye when the door is opened. I had hoped to have a free-standing 3-D palm tree, but abandoned that after four attempts proved fruitless.

The second book was Wild Cats in Art and showed famous works of art before they were altered by human to claim the fame, such as the Mona Lisa holding a kitty.

I am so grateful for the day job to pay bills, but really miss studio time!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mass Hysteria!

This doodle print by Aimee Dolich of Artsyville on Etsy really spoke to me this morning. The Indiana State board of education has decided to discontinue teaching cursive writing in our public schools.


Seriously? What rocket scientist made that decision?

Sorry, I don't usually have such strong reactions to these things, but WHAT are they thinking? As I ponder the next project in JOY Jam, it's pretty clear it will include handwriting in some way. I'm grateful for the teachers who encouraged me to have better handwriting. I practiced every summer vacation but my cursive is barely readable and printing is even worse.

My first "novel" (6th grade) was handwritten on blue-lined notebook paper. When my mother died, I found a bundle of greeting cards I made by hand—and a fake excuse note to get myself out of a math exam in second grade.

Can't we have a huge bake sale to raise funds to include cursive writing in our curriculum? I am REALLY upset, mystified, horrified, perplexed, and concerned!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

End of the Beginning ...

Well, 20 bags with 5 hearts each have gone to their new owners. It was such fun to see the reactions of the recipients. Clearly, a couple (guys) thought I was a few french fries short of a happy meal, but most were delighted, if not slightly confused.

Bill chose the heart I designed for him—without any prompting and even wore it on his smock yesterday! I was thrilled.

Stacy got right into the spirit of things and passed out hearts faster than I could pass out the bags! Her energy was very heartening (sorry for the pun).

Some hearts stayed in the department, some traveled throughout the building, and some went home for family and friends.

My husband, who is always my best cheerleader, wants to take some to the ladies at the bank. So, I'll make at least six more.

Actually, I like the idea that the project isn't finished. I'd like to send a bag to Hillary, Hilary, Brooke (daughters), and April (soon-to-be-daughter-in-law), each of the ladies in our art party group, and anyone else who needs a little JOY!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

90 JOY Jam Hearts!!

90 JOY Jam hearts are ready to fulfill their destiny! I've actually made 116, but keep giving them away, so there are now 90 of my goal of 100. The photo above shows 18 stacks of 5 hearts each, ready to go into handle bags. 10 more will complete the project.

My goal was to make them all without buying anything, just using scraps and supplies from the studio. Everything went well until I tried to find safety pins. Couldn't find quite enough, so I'll have to buy some—but that's all!

All the fabric, twill tape, ink for the inkjet printer, cardstock for the tags, gift bags (20 for the primary recipients), and ribbon have come from the stash. That's quite remarkable!

So, 10 more to go. That probably means Thursday they will all begin the job they were designed to do—spread JOY (and probably a bit of confusion) to friends, co-workers, loved ones, and strangers!

Please let me hear about your experience with JOY Jam!!