Thursday, August 26, 2010

Resistance is Futile!

Three months ago I bought Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens by Lena Corwin. It's a fantastic book detailing exactly what supplies you need to print just about anything. She also includes directions on how to make your stamps, stencils or screens and tips on how to get the best prints from each. Also, if you're not into designing your own stamps, she includes full sized patterns for all her designs so you can get started right away.

Ian has been interested in printing t-shirts for a while now so I looked through the book and bought the appropriate inks and rubber stamping blocks. Ian carved a stamp and this weekend he made this sweet t-shirt:

Ian's new t-shirt

And since neither of us had ever printed on fabric before, we did a test run first. Behold, the most adorable Frankenstein resistance fist tea towel ever made:

tea towel

I highly recommend this book and I can't tell you how easy and fun it is to print your own fabric. I hope to print more tea towels soon!

What about you? Have you ever thought about printing your own fabric?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meet Gigi!

My new bike

She is my new best friend!

My new bike

Ian doesn't have a car so he bikes almost everywhere. With him moving in, I thought it would be fun for us to both have bikes so we could bike together.

My new bike

When I started looking for bikes, I had no idea something so beautiful existed. I'd say to Ian "My bike is so cute, it has fenders and big handlebars!" and he'd say "you don't have a bike." He was right, I didn't have her yet, but she was mine all the same...I just hadn't found her yet.

My new bike

I told him "I'll know her when I see her."

My new bike

And that's exactly what happened.

My new bike

You have no idea just how much I love her. She's not only retro and beautiful, she's also so, so comfy! I could ride for hours on this squishy, springy seat.

My new bike

Ian and I are planning to take our bikes to the grocery store and the library and the coffee shop. I wonder if there's an apple orchard nearby...wouldn't this be the perfect bike to ride to the apple orchard?

My new bike

I bought a basket to put on the back...it's going to be so perfect for carrying baguettes from the store and apples from the orchard. I'll post pictures after I sew a matching basket liner.

It's hard to put into words just how happy I am. I can show you, though. This is exactly what Ian and I will look like on our bikes. My heart is filled with happiness!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Busy Days

I feel like summer is going by so slowly. I haven't been sewing much and I usually measure time by how many things I make. When I stopped to think about it, I realized it's nearly the end of August!

And then I realized the end of August is going to be busy! My parents are coming into town on Wednesday, we're all going to the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday, I'm having dinner with friends on Friday, I'm helping Ian pack up on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and then he's moving into my house on Tuesday.

I can't believe there's going to be a boy living in my house. How strange.

I'm sure we'll stay up all night talking about fabric and quilts and Twilight. That's what happens when boys live with you, right?

So, before all the late night gossip sessions start, I'd like to focus on simplicity, on being calm, on not freaking out about the busy week ahead. Instead, I'll post pretty pictures of fabric. I'll sigh contentedly and dream about what I could make with these fabrics by Jennifer Pagnelli. She has the best magenta fabric around! I bet Ian would love a magenta quilt for our bed!

Jennifer Paganelli fabric

By far my favorite print is Kimberly in Green from Jennifer's Dance With Me collection. I only bought a yard but I wish I bought more. I'd love to back a summery quilt with this. It's so dreamy with the sun falling through the leaves...I want to take it on a picnic.

Jennifer Paganelli fabric

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Summery Update

It's so hot here...too hot to do much of anything. Even with the air-conditioning on at home, the studio gets too hot to sew. I've been hand sewing hexies and watching Netflix movies in the coolest room of the house. That's pretty much it.

summery hexagons

Ian and I had fun at the wedding this weekend but the church and the reception hall were both too hot. At least I looked hot in my dress...the good kind of hot, naturally. Of course, I forgot my camera so I can't prove it.

summery hexagons


Ian and I are going to see A Streetcar Named Desire tomorrow night. I'm planning to wear my new dress again and maybe I'll get pictures this time. As excited as I am for the play, I dread walking the two blocks to the light rail station. Oh my...it's just too hot!

So, is it just me or is anyone else excited for autumn?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Easy Jewelry Refashion

My cousin is getting married this weekend and I'm super excited! Unfortunately, I had a little freak-out a few days ago when I realized all my standby dresses (like, all two of them) were stupid and I couldn't possibly wear them to the wedding. You know how that sometimes happens.

At first I was frustrated by the new fashions ("tribal" print baby-doll dresses are not really my style, you know?) but then I found this flippin' sweet dress on the clearance rack for only $20 (it was missing the belt). I bought a dark teal shrug and decided to go all out and buy some matching jewelry (I'm not a jewelry person so this truly is "going all out" in my world). The only teal jewelry in the store was this necklace:

necklace before

It's really long and sort of busy and I really wanted a simple strand of beads to compliment the 1950's look of the dress. You know where this is going, don't you? From one not-quite-right $15 necklace, I made a perfect necklace, bracelet and earring set.

refashioned after

Fun, right? In case you've never tried a jewelry refashion, I just wanted to tell you how easy it is. Use a needle-nose pliers to open the links and rearrange your beads. My necklace already had a clasp but I needed another one for the bracelet. Luckily I had an extra in my stash along with the earring hooks. I buy all my jewelry supplies from Fire Mountain Gems.

Anyway, that's it for now...If I get any, I'll share pictures from the wedding early next week.