Thursday, October 21, 2010

Art Spark Tutorial Tsunami (part 3)

Couldn't resist including a few more sweet Halloween tutorials.
And guess what - my Halloween playlist is waaaay cool now. (I'll list it in a minute.)

Jane LaFazio
Papier Mache Skulls

Alisa Burke
Pretty Painted Pumpkins

OK. Here is what has been added to the playlist I told you about here.
Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor"
Nightmare Before Christmas "This is Halloween" and "Oogie Boogie's Song"
Humpback whales singing (the real thing)
The theme from "The Adams Family"
Wagner "Ride of the Valkyries"
Theme song from "Ghostbusters"
Sha Na Na "Witch Doctor"
Micheal Jackson "Thriller"
Theme song from "Dr. Who"
From Harry Potter "It's Halloween" "Double Trouble"
Star Wars Episode V "The Imperial March"
The Sorcerer's Apprentice""
"Dance Macabre"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tutorial: Ribbon Wrist Strap

As promised, here is a quick tutorial on making a ribbon wrist strap for - well anything you want a wrist strap to hold. I suggest looking through all of the pictures first (especially if you are a visual learner) and then go back and read the instructions. Have fun!

  • Ribbon (long enough to fit over your hand)
  • craft wire
  • long head pin
  • bead cap or cone
  • wire cutters/ jewelry snippers
  • round tipped pliers

1- make a loop in one end of the craft wire and hold it against the end of your ribbon loop.

 2 - Take the long end of the wire and wrap it around the ribbon and the wire loop.
Make sure to leave the short end of the loops wire hanging out.

 3 - Bend the end of the head pin over as shown, catch it in the loop.

4 - Pull the short end of the wire so that the head pin is pulled in tight to the wrapped wire.
Wrap more wire, neatly or not, to secure the ribbon.
Trim the ribbon and craft wire, bout NOT the head pin.

 5 - Slip the bead cap or cone over the pin. Snip the head pin to about 3/4" if it is too long.

 6 - Using your round tip pliers grab the tip of the head pin and pull it into a loop.

Now you can attach your ribbon strap to whatever thingamajig you'd like. In this case I sewed a ring onto the gadget case and hooked the loop into it before pressing it shut with the pliers.

And guess what!?!
I've just added some gadget cases to my

Pop on over and take a look!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Art Spark Tutorial Tsunami (part 1)

Same fabulous tutorials have been posted by members of ArtSpark!

Jane LaFazio
Layered Journal Page

Melanie Testa
Fun Foam Stamps

Part 2 comes tomorrow so check back soon!a

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tutorial: Beaded Fringe

When I sent in the little cases I had made to Quilting Arts Magazine for the "Glam-To-Go for Gadgets" article, they didn't use the case I actually spent the most time making. I think perhaps that it was either too froofy, made the article too long, or was for the outdated ipod classic rather than the new iphones. No worries. I'll show it here to you. You can get the article for free in the current eBook at for instructions on making the cases. I'd love to show you here how to make the funky beaded fringe.
  • Something to add fringe to: gadget case, scarf, your husbands favorite necktie. In any case it will need to have enough "oomph" to support the fringe. In this instance, the fringe will be supported by the satin stitched bottom edge of the case. For a scarf I like to add a tiny bit of cording or seam tape or ribbon (depending on the weight of the scarf) inside of a rolled hem.
  • Beading thread (I love Nymo) and a beading needle (or a size 11 applique needle.)
  • Seed beads and other larger beads. Make sure the holes in the larger beads are not so big that the seed beads sink into them. If they are you'll need to put medium beads next to the large holed beads.

1 - Make your knot. Thread your needle, bring it in through the case and out on the edge of the satin stitching. Leave the tail of the thread hanging out. Wrap the thread (not the tail end) three times around the tip of the needle, hold the wrap with your thumb and pull the needle through. You should have a secure knot now. I often make at least one more knot in close to the same place just to be extra secure.

2 - Load your beads onto the needle. Add seed beads until your fringe is about as long as you wish it to be then add your bigger bead and one more seed bead. The seed bead on the end is your anchor. Slide all of the beads to the end of the thread.

3 - Anchor your fringe. This is the only tricky part - and it really isn't hard. Slide that last seed bead away from the line of beads then send your needle right back through your whole line of beads. I find it easiest to do if I bend the line of beads over my finger, holding the thread taut. This lines up the beads in a row and holds the thread tight along the bottom of each hole. That way you have room to get the needle back up through the whole line.

4 - You might not be able to get the needle all the way through your line of beads in one shot. No worries. Just do it a bit at a time, holding that thread taught to it easier to slide the needle through.

5 - Push your needle into the satin stitching, right under your fringe and come out where you want the next fringe to start. Continue adding fringe until you think you're done. Notice here that my fringe isn't the same - I like it funky. Sometimes my big bead is in the middle, sometimes there are more seed beads on the end than just one anchor. Mix it up and make it fun.

6 - Make a knot right next to the last fringe in the same way you did at the beginning. In fact, make two knots. Come to think of it, make a knot and just keep going (not starting with a new thread each time) every three or four fringes just to be safe. I truly dislike the sound of a million tiny beads scattering across the floor as my child yanks on my fringes. At the end, after your last knot, send your needle up through the satin stitching and come out anywhere. Trim the tail off and you're done.

There you have it. Next week I'll post a short tutorial on how to make the ribbon strap shown on the butterfly case so be sure to stop by again!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Free Quilting Arts eBook

Over at - an art quilter's social networking resource, they put out a free e-book every few months or so. This month's book features an article of mine titled: "Glam to Go for Gadgets" along with a number of other great articles on the subject of textile art.

It's free, easy to download, and as with all of QA's stuff - looks great. I love their graphic design team - talented folks over there. So pop on over and pick it up at under "free stuff." I do believe you need to register on the site to have access.

Friday, October 8, 2010

For Your Inspiration: Rust

Beautiful photography by Tina Negis
september sunset —
crabs explore the skeleton
of a humpback whale

 - collin barber

 he holds back
on the oars 
not enough moon
              -  Francine Banwarth

 summer grasses
all that remain 
of the warrior's dreams
               - basho

 in the foxhole
a pair of soldier's boots
yearns to come home
                   - lanie shanzyra p. rebancos

if only the birds
could feed us pieces of sky
in return for bread.
brian vandervliet  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

and Now For Something Completely Different...

I feel completely overwhelmed right now.
Deadlines that I'm afraid of falling behind on.
So many family obligations that I can't quite keep up.
Too many blessings to keep up with right?
(as I repeat over and over and over...  It's all good. It's all good. It's all good.)

So instead of buckling down and working harder I get the overwhelming urge to curl up in bed and read a book. But I don't let myself. That will be my reward ... maybe at Thanksgiving when everything is done.

I'll do something completely different (another avoidance mechanism I know.)
Here is my silly-with-kids Halloween playlist.
Do you have anything to add to it?

Monster Mash
by Bobby "Boris: Pickett & The Cryptkickers

Purple People Eater
by Sheb Wooley

Dead Egyptian Blues 
by Trout Fishing In America

Valley of the Dry Bones
by The Red Clay Ramblers

Oh Death
by Ralph Stanley on O Brother, Where Art Thou

Boa Constrictor
The Best of Shel Silverstein

Funeral March of a Marionette
by Charles Gounod

Now that I've wasted a very fine hour....
what are some of your favorites funny halloween songs?
And am I the only one who is horrible like this when deadlines loom?

Monday, October 4, 2010

And There Was Much Fun To Be Had

Really - there was. In spite of the heat wave and barely-there air conditioning - we had a FANTASTIC time with the Burke Quilters Unlimited. The class was Screen Printing and the location was Judy Gula's most fantastic shop ever: Artistic Artifacts Annex.

 I can't seem to remember if this we were beading or learning photo transfer here.

Kathy is making a lovely piece with her citra-solv photo transfer.
You can see a tutorial here

Meghan is using transfer paper for her photo transfer piece.

 Cyndi Souder and Judy Gula laugh over a funny X-Acto knife story.
Hubby had been "using" her kit out in the garage for quite some time while she was looking for it.

Busy, busy students learning Screen Printing.