Friday, February 27, 2009

Keep on the sunny side

I heard a story on the radio this morning about the great literature and film that documents hard economic times. Earlier this week, I heard this story saying "it's art time in America again, because everybody's broke."

Hard times are good for art. It's an idea I talked about some in my review of the Dollmaker.

I'd love to get some comments from readers about how changes in the economy are affecting your art.

By the way, I recommend reading the book mentioned in the NPR story today, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, by James Agee with photography by Walker Evans. It's the story of a reporter writing a book about sharecroppers in Alabama in the 1930s. There's poverty, innocence, guilt, and a lot of details to set scenes. It's Agee's existential masterpiece.

Monday, February 23, 2009

broken dishes

I love pretty dishes. My cupboards are packed with a delicate hodgepodge of teacups, dessert plates and juice glasses. This makes setting the table so much more fun because you can put together a unique setting for each place. But it is that much sadder when something breaks because you don't have another that looks just like it.

This glass (which was so nice to sip whiskey from) must have been what inspired me to make paper doll chains a few weeks ago. It broke last night during a collision with this coffee cup.

I always thought this mug would be so much better if it said "After While, Crocodile" on the other side. Now it has a large chip in the brim.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

fabric on display

I found a bunch of abandoned embroidery hoops, put fabric in them, them hung them up on the wall. I like how it brightens things up and gives me an opportunity to see some of my favorite fabrics even if I won't have time to do any playing that day.

To keep the edges from showing, you could glue the fabric to the inside frame. I used masking tape because I anticipate wanting to change out the fabric. I think it'll be easy to have a new festive display for each season just by changing out the fabrics.

I will probably add more hoops. I'm thinking a large quilting hoop would look good.

Here is the other wall in my apartment covered in fabric.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Find: fairy tale block puzzle

I was immediately drawn to this pretty little box. Then I opened it to find blocks with these beautiful fairy tale images.

I have it in my living room and occasionally I'll rearrange the blocks to make a new picture. It's a really calming way to spend a couple of minutes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

a pin cushion for Ellen

One of my coworkers mentioned that she needed a pin cushion so I made this for her. It's just a stuffed yo-yo with a little flower to hide the center. The wrist band is made of the good part of a worn out sock.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Find

I found this children's alphabet book today. The illustrations are embroidered applique and have sparked a lot of ideas for things I want to make.

The author/illustrator is Virgina Tiffany. Here are more examples of her work.
ABC (Golden Book)
Two Kittens
Tell Me, Cat

Thursday, February 12, 2009

fun for Valentine's Day

Today was the last day of school before Valentine's Day. The children were just giddy about the cards, candy, glitter, and stickers. They would all have been amazed by this Valentine breakfast from No Fuss Fabulous.

I wish I had taken pictures of the elementary kids' valentine bags decorated with hearts and letters made with paper quilling.

photo from No fuss fabulous

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Craft Magazine Now Digital Only

Craft magazine emailed its subscribers today to say that it won't be printing the magazine anymore. I am dissapointed.

They are going to continue with

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I heart neckties.

I mentioned that I was making my boyfriend a valentine with material that he is familiar with. Here it is. I arranged the bottom of two neckties to make a heart then stitched on some rick rack to tie it all together. I got this idea (and tons of others) from Diane Gilleland. Here's her tutorial.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Homemade Valentines

Last year I made my valentine a Fabric Window Valentine after seeing them on the Purl Bee's blog. It was quick and easy and turned out really cute. I recommend you check out the tutorial and make up a few before Valentines Day.

Today I will be making a different sort of valentine for my boyfriend using a fabric that is familiar to him. I'll post it later.
The valentines above are from the Purl Bee.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Refurbishing Bangle Bracelets

I just put Japanese breakfast food stickers on this pretty blue bracelet. The stickers are rice, pickles, miso soup, chopsticks, natto, and umeboshi.

I bought sets of these breakfast stickers, along with sets of sushi and dessert stickers in Japan at one of the Maruzen chain book stores. I would love to find more of them one day.

I found the blue bracelet with this eighties survivor bangle in a thrift store . I have plans for it that I'll be posting soon.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

cupcakes vs. pie

I got the new Craft magazine yesterday. It's as awesome as always. Amy Sedaris is on the cover. She's a writer/crafter/renaissance woman and runs a cupcake business out of her home.

While reading about the cupcake trend (interesting article here and here), I ran across a New York Times article that said "in the modern age, the cupcake may be more American than apple pie."

That statement combined with my nostalgia for weekly doses of pie on the recently cancelled TV show Pushing Daisies inspired me to make a pie for my craft night. I used this tutorial to make a lattice crust. Everyone should do it at least once in their lives.