Running with Scissors…

…just a few of the things I’ve been toying with, in between renovations, life, working, volunteering and everything else…

I needed a laptop sleeve, so I pulled out an old sweater and made a cozy….while I was at it, made a matching sock for my iphone.

Then I pulled out an old jacket and made a travelling pack for my phone…

And #1 son loves skateboarding brands but Mom and Dad are not so thrilled about the price tags on those things, so we decided to make one of our own using REVERSE APPLIQUE.  What a fun thing to do – I am sure we will be making more things using this technique….here’s how it works:

Using an embroidery hoop, we traced out the design we wanted to use using a washable marker:

 

Then we cut out a circle of what we wanted our background fabric to be, and stitched around the logo…(next time I will not choose one quite so complicated..it took too much thinking!)

Then we started thinking about which parts we wanted to keep and started cutting away the parts we didn’t:

tada….!  It looks even better now that it has been washed and the edges got a little ratty….not bad for a thrifted $1.49 t-shirt!

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Today I did some cleaning in the studio, and it doesn’t usually take long in there for me to get creatively inspired…..I’ve been looking at Anthropologie’s site and think that I can do a whole lot better for a whole lot cheaper!

Check out my repurposed Doily Bib necklaces!

You can see more photos at http://www.etsy.repurposing.com

Made using a vintage Ten Commandments Charm Bracelet - see more photos at http://www.repurposing.etsy.com

Stitched Bits and a 60 cent bag of scraps

I created this ‘stitched bit’ almost two years ago when I began my artistic journey:

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I still love looking at it – something in me connects with fabric…!

So, I thought maybe it was time to create another one, and I created one this week:

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Just bits of nothing really, and yet oddly calming and quieting to work on.  As I arrange and then re-arrange the ‘bits’ I find myself transported to places of ‘nowhere’.  Everywhere but nowhere.

Thinking about lots of things, but thinking about nothing.

Dreaming many dreams but dreaming of nothing.

Odd.  Calming.  Restoring.

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On one of my jaunts through a thrift store I happened upon a bread bag of scraps in Christmas colors – reds / greens / prints….all obviously cast-off and cut-offs from Christmas Crafts Past and it was ONLY 60 CENTS, so I rescued it from the thrift store and sat down to create something….I added a few buttons, and it slowly started to take shape:

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The colors seemed to dictate a Christmas theme, and so I just stayed with that:

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kept finding bits….putting them together in interesting combinations:

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and I emerged with this:

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I included loops on the top and hung it from a rod I had….still haven’t pressed it but I stitched a back to it and I guess I will call it freehand-textile-art….!

From something that someone else considered garbage, or a waste, something (somewhat!) beautiful was able to be created…..isn’t that a great metaphor for our lives?  How many of us live thinking or feeling that all we’ve got left is the garbage, the waste…how much good do we actually have left to offer the world?

How many of us think that what we have to give is worth nothing, or maybe only 60 cents….

Maybe the magic isn’t in our offering.  Maybe the magic is in allowing someone with greater vision and creativity the opportunity to form something beautiful out of it.

I’m just sayin’.

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All this stitching reminds me of some work my friend Julie has done….work completely done with fabric: 

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hmmm…maybe I’ll have to keep exploring!

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Here is someone else exploring their love of fabric through stitched bits.

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DIY Day @ ASPTL

Latest….

…not alot of words, just photos of recent work!

I cut up an old leather jacket that didn’t sell on etsy, and got lots of great leather pieces….this was just something quick:  THE CUFF:

(I had to try out my two snap putter-onner-tool-thingys that I got at a garage sale for FREE.  yup, FREE  along with a couple of quilting square / triangle measurey things, and elastic and binding and I figure it was about a $70 haul FO FREE…!!!)

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 HBI has been spending time in the studio with me….using the sewing machine, making what he plans to be ‘flags’.  The top one has already been modified and is hanging on the studio wall with a chain attached to it.  “Mom, I like it MUCH better with the chain.”   I’ll have to get a picture of it….

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I’m encouraging him to look at texture and patterns and find interesting combinations.

This next one is a little stroller quilt I made for my friend Kahla.  It is made out of men’s dress shirts for her new little baby boy!  I left one shirt pocket on so there is a place to put his pacifier…!

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oh man…I have like 4 other things on the go out there…just haven’t photographed them….I’m sticking mostly with fabric it seems, but this little project only took a few minutes…:

Remember way back last year I started to get a love on for those covered cheese trays?  Well I did find one this year for the love-of-a-quarter ( didn’t even bargain!)

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…started up with a bit o black paint I had kicking around:

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and ended up here:

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Perfect for my artistic philosophy:

Projects should #1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

Here’s just a sneak peek at something currently on my table:

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Just a quickie…

This one was alot of fun to do!

If you have two t-shirts, scissors and a needle and thread you can do it in an evening or less!

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I started by cutting a strip off the bottom of a purple t-shirt….it was a HUGE t-shirt…not even sure why we have it, but that’s the blessing of a scrap bin I guess.  If your standard t-shirt is not wide enough to make a decent length scarf you could always stitch two pieces together.

The flowers are the simplest thing EVER!  I just cut some random size circles out of both colors, and started to play with them.  If you pinch from the middle of the circle, you will see a flower shape emerge quite easily.  I just used my needle and thread to hold the folds in place and stitched them on.

A few fringes at the bottom et voila! 

I see a few more of these in my future….!

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August Challenge

so I put a challenge out there for you Facebookers to repurpose just one thing this week – did anyone catch the bug?

I sat down in my studio, determined to ‘create’ something and looked at all the scrappy bits of fabric I have lying around.  I started fiddling, and faddling, and piecing, and something started to emerge….

Who knew that QUILTING would have been one of the original uses for scrappy bits?  I never thought it would be something I could get into because of the time involved, but quite honestly because you can piece them square by square, it might just be something I could get in to! 

It totally fits my philosophy of:

1) taking less than an hour, #2) taking no appreciable skill to complete #3) be easy enough that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do it, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

Here’s what came out:

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and then this one….

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and then I remembered something I had made last year:

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and then I started looking at quilting PATTERNS….my oh my, you could go for years and never make the same square twice.   Anyhew…apparently the center of this is called a modified nine-patch….I just kept adding on….oh, and don’t look too carefully at my seams…by now you know how I roll….

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Then I was out at the mall yesterday and I saw the cutest top with ribbon roses on it, and I thought hey!  I could do that…so I didn’t change the thread on my machine and started sewing in circles…..when I do it again, I’ll change the thread and start from the middle….I think it has the potential to be really cute….!  Anyhew…once the flower was done I needed something to put it on, so I whipped up this:

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I used creative license in borrowing the phrase from Matt….I hope he doesn’t mind!

So I don’t know if anyone else was playing along, but I sure had fun this week and discovered a whole new genre to play with!

Making a 5 minute hat

so, remember these arms I had left,
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after making this bag?
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out of this sweatshirt?

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One of my commenters on that post put out the idea of making a hat out of the leftovers….so, in 5 minutes flat, I came up with this:

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All it took was a few cuts, a line or two of machine stitching and a coupla hand stitches for the ‘fringe’.

Whaddya think?

 

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This fits so perfectly with my artistic/creative philosophy, in that the project must:

1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) be easy enough that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do it, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

 

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Repurposing Trends

…There are alot of places to find inspiration for repurposing old items. Google is my best friend these days when I find myself with something to repurpose….

Take for instance – ZIPPERS.

Wouldya ever have thought about this?????

 ZIPPER

 

Brooches and the like from ZIPPERS…..see more here

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