Saturday, November 27, 2010

CRaFt Party!

“Crafts make us feel rooted, give us a sense of belonging and connect us with our history. Our ancestors used to create these crafts out of necessity, and now we do them for fun, 
to make money and to express ourselves.” ~ Phyllis George

My little girl is not a little girl anymore.  Nor do I plan parties for her anymore.  She plans her own.  And she likes them nice, simple and crafty.  {No big planning and decorating committees like I used to do them.}
For her 14th birthday, she wanted to make sock monsters/plushies with her equally crafty & ultra-artistic friends.
And if you're not, you become one just by hanging out.
All you need is some old (or new) socks...
Some oddities/scraps/found objects...
A good reference book {I borrowed Strayed Socks}
Fillers {you can get them from any craft store or use scraps}
And a little bit of patience and concentration.
And voila!
Here's everyone's creations.
 Now, do they look like their creators?
Thank you, Auntie Breya {who is just as creative} & Taz, for hosting TC's birthday.  She had a blast. 
"A stitch in time, saves nine." ~American Proverb 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blue Jeans Revolution {Rosettes}

I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.~Mother Teresa

These are remnants from the jean-repurposing projects I've been working on.  I should throw them all out, right?
But look what else I can make with these denim seams & hems.

I can use them to embellish a frame, make a hair clip, a brooch pin, a necklace.

I can add them on a purse, a hat, a bag, another pair of jeans.  The possibilities are endless.

You can also use t-shirt & other fabric scraps!  So easy!  No sewing required.  All you need is hot glue gun, patience and some tears--I burnt my finger the other night! Ouch!!!  

You can do it this way or this way.  Check out these tutorials.  They're so adorable!

Happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for.

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. ~Ancient Persian saying

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

COSTUMES 2010: Lieutenant Commander Tzirphun H'nahh* (Star Trek Science Officer)

*Please don't ask me how to pronounce it.

My oldest daughter has always been into make-believe and drawing since she could start changing clothes and hold a crayon.
self-portrait at 2.5 years old

And when she was accepted into an art school at 7th grade, she found others who shared the same interest.  Can you imagine going to school in cosplay* whenever you want, and no one would give you weird looks or laugh at you? She once said, "Mom, it's an art school.  Everyone's quirky." (That would've been the perfect place for me!)

Throughout the whole school year, they would ALL pretend to be on board a starship.  Don't worry, they all do their studies well.  They snap out of it once they're in class.  But during breaks or in the hallway, they would address each other with their science fiction names. be young & silly.

For her going away present to her classmates, she illustrated her crew in their "uniforms" (see below). And for her costume last month, she requested to be the character she's developed and have been writing about, Tzirphun H'nahh.  I confidently responded, "I thought you'd never asked. No problem."
Or so I thought.  Blue shirt, that's easy.  Went to Old Navy.  Got one.  Went to Target.  Got another one (just in case). Came home. Guess what?  Too dark!  Too bright!  Went to return both, and got the perfect shade sweater. Came home.  Too loose!  Too sweatery! And if I have to alter, it would take as much time as to sew it.  So I decided to chuck that idea, and went to JoAnn's and picked up the right material and shade of blue which I should've done in the first place.  

A week before the festivals, she asked, "Uhh Mom, when are you going to start my costume?"  I told her not to worry.  It'll be done before she knows it.
Or so I thought.  Again!  Yikes!  Time is a-ticking, and really it was an easy shirt to make.  But I've never done the sleeves correctly before.  I always wonder why they ruffled by the shoulders, and it never bothered me before.  This time it did so I spent the whole night reading up online how to make the sleeves not ruffled!  I know what you're thinking..."what of it!?"  But I was determined to do this. And I did it!  Yes, what a life!  Simple!  I love it!
It was all downhill from there.  The neckline was easy.  I simply cut it off from a gently-used black t-shirt and attached it to the now-almost-done shirt.  I made the rest of the t-shirt into a skirt for my other daughter's costume so nothing was wasted.
I have several trimmings from my "I could use these someday" batch.  For the logo, I have plenty of felt for it.  I think I could've done better but it worked well.  She was pleased.  That's all that matters at this time.
As for those Vulcan-Elvish ears. Well, the ears are the most expensive.  They cost about $10-12 a pair plus shipping & handling. But we had a better solution: Band-Aid.  Yup.  It costs us zip-nada-nil.  You have to use opaque, not clear, ones to make it work.  

I didn't take a photo of her ears.  I'll do that later.  I wanted to share this post before it's too late.  Enjoy.

On my planet "to rest" is to rest, to cease using energy. To me it is quite illogical to run up and down on green grass using energy instead of saving it. --Spock in Shore Leave

*cosplay = costume wear

Monday, November 8, 2010

"CAPS FOR SALE" (Long time no post!)

Wow, has it been that long?  More than a month.  Time definitely doesn't wait for anyone!

Well, I've been sewing and RIPPING like crazy.  I like the sewing but the ripping part is soooo tedious. I don't like it one bit. But it comes with the territory. My kids didn't put in their order for their costumes until two weeks before all the festivities (school carnival, costume parties, harvest festivals). They were reluctant to ask because they didn't want to overwhelm me. In fact, the girls stopped asking me 3 years ago due to the homeschooling demands. How thoughtful! Now that I'm not homeschooling, I have more time in my hands, right?  NOT!

Actually, I'm glad they asked because I missed sewing costumes for them. I hope to post them when time allows me to do so.

In the meantime, I thought you'd enjoy these hats knitted & crocheted by my then- eleven year-old who is now 14. She learned from her aunt while we were in Oregon. Then she took off from there. We bought & borrowed books on knitting and crocheting, and she just followed the directions. Here are just some of her lovely creations that she gave away as gifts. (Note: the head mannequin is so much smaller than the human head so the caps looked big.)

If you have a little one, this classic book is a must read.

TC also entered a craft contest back then, and won!  The prize wasn't monetary nor was it even any knitting materials but she was featured in a craft magazine.  She was glad to be able to contribute.
Pattern above, for the green hat, is from her first grade teacher, Mrs. Lee, who is now retired. (Correction: She never learned knitting from me.)
Knitting is a boon to those of us who are easily bored.  I take my knitting everywhere to take the edge off of moments that would otherwise drive me stark raving mad. 
~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End

I always have my knitting kit, a point & shoot camera and a book with me to drive away any boredom while waiting anywhere.  What do you have at hand?