Saturday, February 28, 2009

Old Patterns

Tattered and dog-eared, and not having seen the light of day in over 10 years. These are some of the first handbag patterns that I created. Even though they don't look like much, don't let this rickety old pile of paper fool you. There are some interesting and unique handbags that can be made from these if only I can remember how to put each one together!!!

You see, after reviewing the pattern pieces, I see that I neglected to jot down sufficient assembly instructions. I must have assumed that I would always remember how to make these. Evidently I didn't take into account old age and memory loss. I noticed that my scribbles indicate that many of these patterns date back to 1996. Ha! I don't even remember what I did last week, how am I ever going to remember what I did over a decade ago!?!?

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to attempt these on memory alone and I can see that this is going to be a long process.

Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Lollipops and Posies Tote

I persevered and continued working on the handbag even though I thought that it was a lost cause. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out and at how much I actually like it. I thought about naming it the Boneyard Bag (read my previous post) but decided on Lollipops and Posies Tote instead. That's much nicer, don't you agree? LOL

The tote measures 10-1/2-inches tall by 16-inches wide with a handle drop of 12-inches. I was a little bit concerned about the floral and denim combination but now I think that it looks rather shabby chic.

The denim used in this tote is from a recycled pair of blue jeans. I prefer to work with well worn and well washed blue jeans as new, fresh-off-the-bolt denim, bleeds like crazy.

I feel great that it wasn't a bust after all.

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone.


Tra la la la la, off to the boneyard we go.....

Do you remember Samantha from that silly 60's comedy show, Bewitched? A twitch of her nose would instantaneously make things happen for her. Well, I could sure use her powers at the moment.

I've been daydreaming for many months about new handbag designs. Ideas have been scribbled onto sheets of paper just waiting for their execution.

As anyone who is a "maker of things" can attest to, drawing something out and then actually making them are two different things. It can take quite a bit of time from the beginning of a design to it's completion. Measurements can sometimes be off. More times than not, it will often need a nip and a tuck somewhere. Sometimes it is scrapped altogether because things just don't turn out the way you had envisioned them. And sometimes they turn out just darn right hideous.

I don't know if you are familiar with the word, boneyard. It is an expression often used for a place where a large grouping of old and unused items sit, just one step away from making it to the junkyard. Well, after years and years of creating, I have accumulated quite a boneyard of my own. Many items labeled with the title, "What Was I Thinking?" sit in large plastic bags waiting to be recycled into something usable.

This brings me to the reason behind this post. I've had this idea in mind for quite a while and last night I finally decided to give it a go. It looked wonderful on paper, but now that I have transferred it to fabric, I'm not so sure. This is looking more and more like yet another item which will find it's way to the boneyard.

I've decided to set this aside for a bit while I ponder it's outcome. Maybe I can turn it into something else.

Where is Samantha when you need her?!?!

Have a nice day, everyone.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tutorial--Ruffled Flower Money Bouquet

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

Are you looking for a creative way to give a gift of money? A money bouquet may be your answer. This tutorial will show you a very quick and easy way to create a bouquet of flowers in no time. To simplify gift giving, keep a bunch of these flowers stored flat in a box. They will be ready and waiting when the need arises.

For this project, you will need a pen for tracing, cardboard for pattern, 2 contrasting fabrics, needle and thread, skewer, ribbon, a straight edged and scalloped edged scissor, buttons, hot glue gun, and paper money.

From cardboard, cut 3 circles: 5-1/2", 3", 1-1/2" These will become your pattern pieces.

Trace the 5-1/2" circle onto each of the two fabrics.

Center the 3" circle onto each of the 5-1/2" circles and trace.

Center the 1-1/2" circle onto each of the 3" circles and trace.

This is what you will end up with on each piece of fabric.

With your scalloped edge scissor, cut around the 5-1/2" circle, just inside the traced line.

With a straight edged scissor, cut out the 3" circle.

Cut the outside edge of the 3" circle using your scalloped edged scissor.

With your straight edged scissor, cut out the 1-1/2" circle. Discard or save the 1-1/2" circle for another project (perfect for a small yo-yo).

This is what all 4 pieces should look like. Each one will have a scalloped outer edge and a straight inner edge.

With needle and thread, take a running stitch around the straight edge of each circle. Pull thread to gather and tie off with a knot. Repeat this step until you have all 4 circles sewn and gathered in the same manner.

To assemble, place the large gathered piece onto a flat surface, right side facing up. Add the small contrasting gathered piece, also with the right side facing up. Top with a contrasting button. Sew together using needle and thread (You may also prefer to glue the components together). Repeat this step for the other side of the flower.

Gather the components together. Please note that I have also wrapped the skewer with brown ribbon. The completed flower looks just as nice without the ribbon if you should decided to skip this step.

With your hot glue gun, glue the skewer to the back of one side of the flower.

Add another dab of hot glue onto the skewer and top with the other side of the flower. Here is a side view of the completed flower.

Tie the paper money (acordian fold the center) to the stem using ribbon. In this picture, I have folded the dollar bill in half to see what it would look like. It is a bit smaller but it still works.

*Please note that you will end up with a slightly different look to each side of the flower. This will give your money bouquet much more interest and contrast.

If you don't want to make this into a money bouquet, a fabric flower leaf can be added instead. This would make a cute addition to a little girl's bedroom decor.

I can also envision small gift items tied to the stem for other occasions. How about attaching a gift card for coffee and handing it out to your coworkers for Christmas or maybe other small gift items tied to the stems as a shower gift.

As a small graduation token, a flower made in school colors can be handed out to classmates. Or a whole bouquet in school colors would be a fabulous graduation gift for that special graduate (with money attached, of course!)

*Please note: If you will be handing out these flowers individually, be sure to glue the pointed end of the skewer into the flower so no one will get poked.

This is the money bouquet that I created a couple of months ago. I have slightly modified the pattern for this tutorial.

To create the bouquet, I placed styrofoam into a small flower pot, added the flowers and covered the mechanics with a little bit of silk ivy.


**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Washington, DC

I'm back, although I am still feeling jet-lagged and tired from all of the walking that we did. Hubby and I had a wonderful time and were able to see just about everything that we set out to see. Washington DC is a beautiful place, even during the winter. With so many grand and ornate buildings, it often made us feel as if we were back in Europe again. We saw so much in the short time that we were there.

The one thing that I have to say is that it was very alarming to see so many barrier's and policemen in place throughout the city. We were told that it has been this way ever since the Oklahoma City bombings, and not after 9-11 as many people believe. Either way, it was both very sad and scary at the same time.

The following is just a few of the places that we visited. I hope that I don't bore you with it.

I can't believe that we forgot to take pictures of our first hotel, The Liaison Capitol Hill. It is a very chic and modern boutique hotel with the most comfortable down featherbeds imaginable. This hotel attracts the very hip Capitol Hill execs, and they were there every evening like clockwork, socializing over cocktails. We were there for 4 nights. (We chose 2 hotels, one on each side of the National Mall which made our touring much easier).

The second hotel that we stayed in was The Willard Intercontinental. We were there for 6 nights. It is a very beautiful hotel and is often referred to as the "Jewel of Pennsylvania Ave." Presidents and dignitaries often stay here when they visit DC. Luckily, it was very quiet while we were there. There were no secret service agents roaming around, at least as far as we could tell. A couple of nights before we left, The Willard hosted a formal function for Governor's (evidently, Hawaii's included). I tried not to stare so I didn't get to see who was in the crowd as we passed by the reception table on our way back from dinner.

In the lobby of The Willard. Very old world in decor and oh so grand!

We visited the majority of the memorials while we were there. Seeing the war memorials were especially difficult, many times having to hold back tears because of the overwhelming and stark in-your-face realization of just how many human sacrifices were made.

This is the Korean War Memorial by day. Nineteen statues, each over 7 feet tall, all facing the American Flag.

This is the Korean War Memorial by night. Eerily haunting.

Hubby at the Vietnam War Memorial. Being a Vietnam Vet, this was very special to him. We had the honor of visiting the traveling memorial when it was displayed at Pearl Harbor many years ago, but seeing the actual memorial was quite overwhelming. Sadly, the names of some of his soldier friends are here.

The towering Lincoln Memorial Statue. What a sight to behold.

Inside the Lincoln Memorial.

A beautiful brass sculpture of Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Evidently, he never allowed pictures taken of him while seated in his wheelchair. At the time, it made me wonder why they thought it befitting to display him in his wheelchair at his memorial. After a little research, I found out that this statue wasn't part of the original plan but was put there after numerous protests from people with disabilities.

The World War II Memorial. Every state is represented. Of course, we had to have a picture by the Hawaii portion of the memorial.

The Washington Monument, towering high above the city. It was completed in 2 stages due to the lack of finances. If you look closely, you will see the difference in the color of the stone that was used. By the time that the second phase was started, the stone was taken from deeper within the quarry and was slightly different in tone.

Standing in front of the U.S. Botanical Gardens. I'm so glad that we decided to stop here. It was a wonderful treat to see so many flowers and plants, many of which we do not have in the islands.

Aside from real plants, there are some really pretty metal plant sculptures.

We found a bit of Hawaii in there.

Strolling through the Hawaii area. It was humid, green, and lush, just like home.

The piece de resistance, The White House. Evidently there was something going on during the time that we decided to visit. The entire area in front, including half of the park, was blocked off by the Capitol Police. A helicopter was circling and sharp shooters were on the rooftop. It took a while for all of the hoopla to end, but we patiently waited and were finally able to get close enough to take some pictures.

Look who we found in the U.S. Capitol building...King Kamehameha! Of course we had to take a picture with him with our distinctive Hawaii "shaka" hand sign.

Our feet in the center of the Capitol Rotunda which is the exact center of Washington DC. Washington DC was built in four quadrants radiating from this point.

An actual space capsule on display at the Air & Space Museum. Pretty amazing and actually, pretty tiny too.

The Hope Diamond, a 45.52 carat grayish blue diamond on display in the Natural History Museum. One of my favorite places to be in this museum was the mineral and stone display area. What truly amazing and brilliant work produced by our earth.

As crazy as it may seem to some, this display was very interesting to me. This was a display at the Natural History Museum of soils from around the nation. Although this snapshot is a bit blurry and out of focus, I wanted to show you the rich volcanic soil taken from Hilo on Hawaii Island. Another little bit of Hawaii in Washington DC!

The George Washington's Day parade in Old Town Alexandria. I watched in utter excitement as the costumed participants paraded past me. To tell you the truth, I really thought that I'd see Andy Griffith and Barney Fife at any moment. It was so small-town quaint and I loved every moment of it. The whole town of Alexandria is old and historic and a must see.

These men shot off their guns every so often, creating such a large boom, it scared both the people and the horses in the parade shitless. I thought it was kind of amusing, but sad at the same time, especially for the horses and the little kids.

Another scene from the parade. I thought their costumes were wonderful.

More from the parade. We stayed and watched the several hour parade until it's completion.

Let me sum up this post by saying that Washington DC is a very lovely place to visit and everyone should do it at least once in their lifetime. I would also say, do it while you are young enough and are able to walk great distances as this is definitely a walking town. The Metro, the Olde Time Trolley, Gray Line Tours, and the taxi cabs were a great asset and I doubt that we could have enjoyed the experience without them. The cold weather (it snowed only for a short period one morning), was pretty exciting to experience. A huge thank you to everyone who so generously offered me advice. We were prepared for the cold and had the right clothing and accessories all because of you. This definitely made our trip much more pleasurable.

With that said, it is nice to be home again.

Take care, everyone!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's Breaky Time!

I just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a short blogging break.

Before I go, I'd like to show you a cute little bear that was given to me as a gift. It's main body is made from a gathered and stuffed yo-yo and his extremities are made from various sizes of pompoms. Isn't he cute?



See you in ten!


P.S. For my family: If you need to reach me, Ev and Sach will be manning the fort.