Wardrobe Refashion

3 07 2008

I just signed up for a 2 month stint for Wardrobe Refashion and I’m pretty excited.  If you’ve ever seen my closet, you know it is crammed full of stuff – and I probably wear a good 85 – 90% of it.  But I was hoping to reuse that last 10% to make something new, instead of spending money on new clothes.

Last night I started cutting up a button-down shirt and I will hopefully be able to make a skirt out of it tonight – I will definitely  be documenting everything here in detail!

The Pledge

I , Marya, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed  Marya.


Painted Silhouettes

30 06 2008

I had bookmarked this craft eons ago, because I thought it looked like a cute and easy project.  I turned out, when I actually had the time, that is was pretty easy, and I liked how it turned out.  I got the fabric squares at Joann’s several months ago, when they were on sale for a dollar, so I stocked up.

I first read through the original directions on Martha Stewart, and originally I was going to make my own stencils – I was thinking a bird series or some cute little woodland creatures.  But unless I have the exact outline to look at, my freehand drawing is pretty abysmal.  (Lifelike proportion?  Who needs that?)  So I decided to use the provided wren stencil.  I drew the stencil to the size I wanted on an index card, then cut it out.  I ended up using 5×5 canvasses, but I didn’t realize the originals were pretty big.  (If you watch the video on the website, you can see that.)

In the end, I think I preferred the smaller sized canvas.  They look very cute together on my bedroom wall.  I want to do a similar project with larger canvasses, but use actual silhouettes, along the lines of this.  I’m sure it will take me another eon to get that done.

Hand Carved Stamps

18 06 2008

The other day I was looking for tattoo-inspired stamps to use in a project I was doing.  I couldn’t find one that I had in mind, and the other one came in an expensive set that I didn’t really like.  So I decided to try my hand at making my own. 

I had seen a couple examples of hand carved stamps elsewhere, but instead of following someone else’s instructions, I kind of winged it.  (It wasn’t that difficult – pretty self-explanatory.)

To do this yourself, you will need:

First, decide what image you want to make a stamp of.  I decided on a cute little robot I drew.  You can also use tracing paper and trace an image from anywhere, or you can use a freshly printed image from an ink jet printer.

Make sure to not make your image with too many small details – even the details here proved to be a little difficult to pull off.  Make thick, heavy lines, and I went over my outline a couple times so it would be easier to rub off onto the carving material.  I used a bone folder to help rub the image, but you could just use your fingers.


Next, cut out the stamp.  I used my X-Acto knife to do this.  I recommend cutting a half-inch outline around the image instead of cutting right on the lines – this makes for a flimsy stamp, as you can see with my robot legs.  (I actually had to superglue one of them back on – shhhh.)  You can carve out the parts of the outline you don’t want to show up in the printed stamp. 

Next you will use your carving tool to carve the shape of the stamp.  Keep in mind the parts that you carve will show up as white when you print with the stamp.  Go slowly on the more detailed parts – the effort will be worth it.

At this point I ink the stamp and print it to see what shows up.  Usually there are a few stray pieces I need to chip away at.  I made two test prints, and the third one I was satisfied with.









There you have it!  A pretty simple process with pretty awesome results.  These homemade stamps are really only good for simple images, but have so many possibilities – like your own designs!  I’m still in search of wood blocks to mount the newly carved stamps on, but that is a project for another day.

Photography and crafting?

4 06 2008

My black and white photography class is going to be over in two weeks, but the good thing is that I’ve relearned the skills to develop film and make decent prints.  I’m planning on joining as a member at Genesee Arts so I can use the facilities over the summer.  Even though I’ve really enjoyed the class just for the sake of the awesomeness that is b&w photography, I sometimes wonder what else I can do with it.  I’m going to start saving the test strips for my prints, so maybe I can make something out of them.  Also, I was just invited to a local scrapbooking club, which I am insanely excited about, so perhaps I will be able to incorporate prints into my newly refueled desire to scrap everything.  Who knows?

Stampin’ Up Cards

29 05 2008

I went to my second Stampin’ Up card making class a couple of weeks ago, and I was very pleased with the results. I never used stamps before, but now that I have a few techniques under my belt, I’m excited to make more cards and use more stamps in my scrapbooking and such. All designs and materials courtesy of Judy Gierlach.

This was a cute card, but slightly time consuming to make. Each panel was stamped off once for the background, and all of the black line details were hand-drawn. The ladybugs’ wings were cut out by hand, so that took a bit of time. The real pain was attaching the red half-circles with ribbon to the top, but I think the end result is cute. The card folds up accordion-style with the green panel in front.

The only issue I see with this card is I am not sure where to write a message. I suppose you could write on the panels, or on the black paper in a metallic pen.

I ended up giving this to my friend for her birthday, and it turned out to be a birthday card and an engagement card at the same time. (The boy got her a good present, huh?) We first stamped the image on the white cardstock, then colored the flower in by hand. The edges of the white paper were inked with green and blurred a bit. The white was put on green, then yellow cardstock, then onto the card itself, which was stamped with a design in the same color. I liked how the colors were combined in this one.

This is a card in a slightly different shape – the green is a single sheet and the blue is a long, rectangular shape that is attached in the back and free in the front. When you open the card, both the blue cardstock and the yellow picture open. The image was stamped on white, then colored in by hand. The yellow ribbon was tied on the blue cardstock, then the yellow piece with the image attached was glued down. I thought the hedgehog was too adorable to pass up.

This was a neat 3-D card. I loved the polka dots. The ladybug was made out of three pieces punched out in a scallop shape. The wrong side of the punches were attached to each other and the card itself. The line details were hand-drawn.

This is one of my favorite cards, using a cracked glass technique. We first stamped the image on a white piece of cardstock, then heat embossed the image several times. (I think the final count was 5.) While we assembled the rest of the card, which was stamped with a background image on both the green and purple parts, we put the embossed cardstock in the freezer for about 20 minutes. After taking the cardstock out, we bent it gently at different angles until the hardened embossing cracked. We then took a brown ink pad and swiped it over the cracked embossing, then wiped it off to give it an antique look. You can put the ink on and wipe it off several times to get the desired effect.

I am definitely going to use these techniques for the next time I need to give out cards!

Coming Soon…

14 03 2008

Really, I do have crafts in the works.  In fact, I have several crafts in the works.  Unfortunately, “the works” is currently buried under 3 tons of crap in my room.  I’ve been avoiding cleaning by crafting, but now that has backfired and I can’t find any of my crafting stuff, let alone have room to work on it.

So before I begin again, I am going to clean, which is always a huge endeavor with me.  I may need to enlist the help of the boyfriend or a hazmat team, whichever is cheaper.  I also hope to find the cable for my digital camera so I can finally post the pictures of the food I’ve been making lately, in addition to the crafts.

But hopefully, I will soon be able to post about my WIPs:

  • the slouchy hat in the correct proportions and a new color
  • a crocheted necklace plus tutorial
  • mini hand-bound journals
  • fabric silhouettes
  • handmade cards

Hopefully this will help me get my butt in motion and allow me to discover the floor in my room.

Slouchy Hat

3 03 2008

So I had learned to crochet way back in the day, and had started on a blanket that will never be finished. When I was trying to organize my craft area in my room I came across all of my yarn and the abandoned blanket, and instead of getting rid of everything, I decided to try to crochet one more time. I looked around for a pattern that wouldn’t take forever to make, but made sure I made something I would use. I decided on Crafty Pants!’s pattern. There are times when I wish I could throw my hair into something fashionable even when it’s not looking its best.

The results were not atrocious, and actually pretty encouraging. I messed up along the lines somewhere, creating a somewhat lopsided and larger hat than the pattern actually makes. But for someone who hasn’t crocheted in six or seven years, I was satisfied.  I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted Weight in Chestnut Heather.  The color ended up looking much nicer on my sister.

slouchy side view

slouchy back view

I ended up giving this to my sister for her birthday, and she seemed to enjoy it.

tess slouchy hat

I’m definitely making another one this week, and making sure I don’t add any extra stitches. Hopefully it will look more pulled together. My hair is in desperate need of a slouchy coverup.