Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yet Another Petite Inspiration Box Swap

Heather, of Speckled Egg, hosts these addictive Petite Inspiration Box Swaps. This is the third I've participated in. Each time there is a theme and what could be more fun than "Flea Market"!
These are the boxes I sent my swap partners, Rhea and Marian...I covered them in burlap and embellished with vintage seam binding and shabby flowers with vintage pearl centers....
and stuffed each one... with all the vintage flea market finds they would hold!
Stay tuned for my returns....

If anyone would like to give altering and swapping matchboxes a try, consider joining the Flickr Monthly Matchbox Swap Group.
I recently joined and they're a very friendly, welcoming group. A new theme is announced each month and trades are one on one.
Stop by and look around. Maybe I'll be swapping matchboxes with you next time around!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One World One Heart

Congratulations to
Jenn, of Just Jenn Designz.
She won my tea stained heart.And also to Martina, of Stempel-Gewerkel, who won the miniature print of "Heart of a Fairy".I am so happy to have participated in One World One Heart. It truly was a most amazing journey, meeting artists from all over the world. Many thanks to all my visitors, and again to Lisa, of A Whimsical Bohemian, for providing us with this wonderful opportunity.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

With Love... to each and every one of you....
Thank you for enriching my life, inspiring me daily and sharing your passions and friendship.
There's no better day than today to tell you how very special you are to me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blissful Valentine ATC's

This was my first time participating in my dear friend Wendy's monthly swap at Blissful ATC Swap. The theme for February was, of course, Love. I received this blingy beauty from my partner, Sonya. I love that the word cherish is the focal point of this wonderful collage.

I went vintage with my card for Sonya and trimmed it up with some very old, delicate lace and teeny tiny pink pearls. And that is a dimensional pretty pink paper rose he's giving to his lady love.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No Tutorial But More Valentine Image Freebies

I know, it's an outrage! It's Tutorial Tuesday - and no tutorial! The truth is no one has come forward to offer any since that first group (Thank you Mrs. A., Daniele, Sherry, Wendy and Angela) all stepped up so quickly to share. The feedback was all very positive so I'm hoping to be able to continue offering tutorials, but thought maybe it would be more manageable and apt to happen if I went with the first Tuesday of every month.
So Tuesday, March 1st is up for grabs! It can be absolutely anything - a simple technique or a complete project from A to Z. It's not only fun to share a skill or talent but it invites new friends to your blog. You never know who's peeking at your tutorial. I had an artist who publishes an e-zine contact me regarding the reprint rights for Daniele's bottlecap tutorial. I put them in touch with each other and Daniele will now be published!
I did shamelessly bribe you with more valentines in lieu of a tutorial.....


Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Pink Saturday Valentine

What better time to jump in on Pink Saturday than February, with Valentine's Day right around the corner?
I recently joined a new Flickr group, Matchbox Monthly Swap. This month's theme is appropriately, romance. Nothing says romance like pink... pink tulle.. pink pearls..
pink fabric flower.......and pink crocheted trim.
To see all kinds of pretty pink posts, visit Beverly, our Pink Saturday hostess, at How Sweet The Sound.

If you would like some vintage Valentine freebies, click HERE.
If you would like to enter my One World One Heart giveaway, click HERE.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Valentine Images For You

Just a few of my Valentine faves I'd like to share......

Have fun with these!
If you haven't entered my One World One Heart Giveaway, click HERE and leave me a comment. The winners will be chosen February 17th.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Time for a Tutorial & Giveaway

I first met Angela, of Sew Loquacious through the Bloggerette Sorority, and through our frequent visits to each others blogs, my sorority sister and I soon became friends. (It's wonderful how that happens in blogland!) She's an amazing seamstress, and as evidenced by this tutorial, an amazing mixed media artist as well. It's actually a tutorial within a tutorial, so if you have mad sewing skills like Angela (and soooooo unlike me), you may be tempted to skim. Just don't miss the image transfer technique embedded within. You'll love it! It can be applied to many different types of projects.
With many thanks, I present Angela's Journal Jacket tutorial.
I call them, "Journal Jackets." They are actually book covers, or jackets. You can use them to cover one of the Twilight books you are reading in order to avoid the weird looks by coworkers in the break room. Or, you can actually cover that journal you bought for $3.00 because it has a picture of a too cute cuddly kitten on the front. Whatever you decide to cover, here is my quick tutorial for making your very own "Journal Jacket."
Outside fabric (the main cover); I used a decorator weight patterned piece.
Rectangular fabric scrap for "title." I used an off-white silk-like fabric because it seems to distort the stamps/fabric ink the least. NOTE: The fabric really isn't silk, but I'm not sure what it is exactly. I will refer to it as "silk" throughout the tutorial.
Fabric scraps for the image transfers.
Sewing machine and coordinating thread
Gel medium and other image transfer supplies, including images
A book or journal to cover
First, you'll have to do some measuring. Just between you and me, I suck at taking measurements. Yes, it's true, even though my first love is sewing, I am TERRIBLE with my ruler! So, I tend to eyeball things a lot. For your journal jacket, however, just set your open book on a piece of paper and draw around it with a pencil. Now, you'll just need to add enough to each side to make the inside flaps, which holds the fabric onto the book. You'll also have to add enough to the length (and width) for the seam allowance. I use about a half an inch all around for the seam allowance. I added about 3 inches (total, including for the seam allowance) for each inside flap and about 1 inch at the top and bottom. Remember, you want to be able to get your journal inside the cover, but you also want the cover snug enough to hold the book.
NOTE: If the book you are covering has a paper jacket, use it to begin your measurements..just add a couple inches to the width for the flaps and seam allowances. Don't forget to add an inch or so for the length, too.

I usually give myself a little more wiggle room.

Image Transfers
Now that I have a pretty good idea the total size of the jacket, I can "close" it and figure out how much space I will have to embellish the front cover. For this particular jacket, I decided to use three of my favorite vintage photos. I gathered my image transfer stuff and got busy.

I'm still a beginner at this image transfer process so I've been experimenting with different methods. I've found the most success using transparencies. For this project, I printed the three images onto one full sheet of clear mailing labels. Sidenote: transparencies are expensive. I've tried to get as many images onto one sheet as possible in order to not waste an entire sheet for one photo.
Okay, back to the tutorial. Cut out each image and transfer to scraps of off white silk fabric.

Allow the transfers to dry completely. Next, I decided to jazz up the images by hand coloring or enhancing them with fabric markers and pastels. Adding color to the black and white images reminds me of vintage photos that have been hand colored. I really love the look!

If you don't want to color the images, don't! There really aren't any rules here! If you do add color, be sure to set the colors with your iron. A good idea is to place a piece of tissue paper on top of the image while ironing and don't slide the iron around as this can smudge the ink. Once the images are dry, distress with distressing ink if desired. I desired, so I did.
Separate each image by cutting them out of the fabric. Place each image onto your silk front cover rectangle. Determine the best placement.

Note that the silk rectangle is resting on top of the outside fabric. I frequently check on placement and size before actually sewing things together. I know, maybe if I measured better, I wouldn't have to do this so often. Once you are happy with placement, sew each image to the rectangle.

Now it's time to embellish your silk-like rectangle even more. I kept it fairly simple and decided to adhere a fabric flower and button to the top and then stamped "My Story My Life" with alphabet stamps.

I used a scrap of the outside fabric to make the flower and then just sewed a button into the middle of it. Next, just sew the button onto the rectangle. Easy peasy.
Secure Rectangle, Sew Hems and Finish
Now, secure your rectangle to the outside cover fabric. Using your book as a guide, double and triple check your placement before sewing.

Now measure (or eyeball) again, iron and then sew a double hem on the top and bottom of the outside fabric.

Now for the moment of your double hem on the inside flap and then sew the flaps down. These are the "pockets" that hold the book cover and back.
Voila! Your own super cute...and personalized...Journal Jacket!
I hope you liked this tutorial. If you have any questions..or I failed to be clear on something, please do not hesitate to email me! If you decide to sew one of your own, please let me know! I'd love to see them!
Thanks so much to JoAnne for asking me to write a tutorial for her Tutorial Tuesday! I am very humbled to be a part of her lovely blog and am forever grateful for her invitation.

Angela has made a very special journal jacket for a giveaway to celebrate being the featured artist on Tutorial Tuesday this week. It's theme is Sisterhood in honor of our Bloggerette Sorority and the undeniable bond we bloggers share. Visit Sew Loquacious now to enter!

If you're in the mood to enter TWO giveaways, scroll down to the next post and enter my One World One Heart giveaway.