Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Needle Book Madness! aka Felt Up. Part 3.

After the recent cookie incident I went on a sudden needle book binge.  I'm not sure why because I already have a million and one projects on my plate but I just couldn't fight the urges.  Besides, it feels good to be de-stashing and actually using all of the awesome stuff I have.  I already had everything on hand for this project.

I whipped up these-

This will give you an idea of the sizing-
(All of the stuff fits neatly in there, I just liked all of the bright pretties sticking out!)
I used Eco-Spun felt, it's made from recycled plastic bottles.  There are two pockets and two pages in each book.

I was really happy with the end result.  So was Mother Earth, because of the felt.  Due to the way they are constructed, with multiple layers on the cover and the felt, they have a soft, quilted feel to them.

In a moment of craft-happy induced delirium I decided to make a whole bunch more.  I'm also going to blame my man for this.  If it wasn't for the handy-dandy rotary cutter he got me at Christmas, I never would have had the patience to cut all of this stuff.

Want a sneak peak of the designs I'm using?
I was even brave enough to cut some vintage fabric I've been saving!  I was shocked and proud of myself all at the same time.  It's the lovely light green, blue and orange one with the psychedelic flower. 

I spent yesterday ironing all of the cut pieces of fabric and piecing together the 29 (!!!!) other books I had cut out.  I was surprised I was able to operate an iron for that long with out (seriously) burning myself.  The covers are all pinned up.  Now I just need to stitch in the pockets and pages.  I hope to swap and gift some of them but I hope to sell most of them in my etsy.

 By the way, have I mentioned that I love the blanket stitch?

Any projects you taken into the realm of over-kill lately?

Besides a ton of needle books, I'm excited to have a lot of other stuff to share with you.  I've been a busy gal lately.  So, see you soon!  Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Felt Up. Part 2.

Somehow, making flowers out of felt turned into this:

I'm chubby- if I'm not eating cookies, somewhere in my head I'm thinking about them.

It's a needle book!  (One word, two?  I'm not sure.)  Inside there is a total of four white pages for storage.  One each, in the front and the back.  The the two in the center were sewn together with a blanket stitch to create a little pocket.  You can just see the edge of the stitches in the center.

Since I don't need any reminders about cookies, I would happy to send this off to a good home.  Anyone want it?  Just leave a comment telling me what your favorite cookie is!  I'll pick someone to give it to on April 5th.

Tune in tomorrow for more felt fun when I bring you "Needle Book Madness!"

Felt Up.

Ok, so it's not as dirty as it sounded.
In fact, it's not dirty at all.
Sorry if you are disappointed.

I recently saw a post about a "Flower Power"  movement started by the Jafagirls, out of Ohio.  The Jafagirls normally partake in yarnbombing but decided to add some felt flowers to the mix to brighten things up even more.  Well, I wanted to join the fun, so I made a few to put up around here.

This is my first batch.  I'm waiting for a break in the rain to put them out...  When I do, I'll be sure to show you guys where.
A little run of the mill but hopefully they'll get more interesting as I go.  

It's a quick and easy project, why not make a few to put around your hometown?  The supplies are super cheap- all you really need is crafting felt and embroidery floss.  (I used Eco-felt, so they're "green" too!)  Also, you don't have to think too much about what you're doing so it's a nice break from a big project you may be working on.  Give it a try!  If you do, tell everyone about it here or here.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Silly Sunday.

Helloooooo out there!  I noticed recently that I have a lot of new readers.  I just wanted to say hi and welcome to you guys.  Thanks for visiting.  Maybe you already know this, but in case you don't- 'round here, anything goes.  Questions, comments and rude remarks are always welcome.  Don't hold back.

This morning I woke up in the goofiest mood. 
I feel sort of like this.

Did you know that Marilyn had to jump over 200 times to get this cover shot?  Just a little something I read in one of my favorite books, which contains the famous jumping photo by Philippe Halsman.  We picked this baby up at a thrift store for the always popular price of $4.

Sometimes I paint from a reference instead of real life.  If I had to choose one reference to use for the rest of my life, it would be this book.  Over 600 pages of classic photographic goodness.  I don't think it would ever get old.  Check it out if you ever get the chance.

Posts have been few and far between lately but watch out because that's all about to change.  I've been working on a ton of projects to share with you guys.  With the beginning of Spring came a resurgence in creativity.

I hope you enjoyed an artful and productive weekend.  See you again soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Snapshot Friday!

Hello!  Welcome to a very special edition of Snapshot Friday.  Today's photos are brought to you by Kira from Oops!  I Craft My Pants.  She was nice enough to send in some lovely vintage photos of her family.  Thank you Kira!!

Kira informed me that she's from a very large family.  Her great-grandmother had 18 kids.  In 1957, she was awarded the title of Mother of the Year for the state of Montana.  They were even featured in the Saturday Evening Post, how cool is that?  That means Kira's dad is one of 65 grand children!  Wowee, that's a lot of names and birthdays to remember.

Check out some photos from the Rieger Family Reunion in 1959.
(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)
And now, the ladies only.

Now for a few older ones.

This is her great aunt, Ellie, relaxing with her dog.

And last but certainly not least, Kira's favorite!  (And mine too.)
Kira explained that this picture was taken in the 1940s at a family gathering.  There was a contest to for all of the ladies in attendance.  Each had to tell a "sob story" about why their life was the absolute worst.  Whoever won was to be crowned "Queen for a Day", isn't that great?  I love it.  She informed me that her grandmother, "the one on the right, with the smirk", was a runner-up.

  This was the first time anyone has ever submitted photos for Snapshot Friday!  It was quite exciting to share something with you that was new to me as well.  So, a big thanks to Kira!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Words to Live By...Part 1

I'm a huge "quote" person.  I'm always spouting off silly lines from a movie or song.  I watch my favorite shows with a notebook in hand for one liners and snarky quips.  And I have pity for anyone who watches one of my favorite movies with me after I've had a little too much to drink.  I'm horrible- I start to laugh in anticipation of funny parts or I just say them aloud along with the actor.

Since I'm like this and I know a lot of people who are, I decided to incorporate more of this trait into my stitching.  I've had a running list forever, so you guys will be seeing a lot more of these pieces.  Some pieces will be for me or friends, others will be for my etsy shop.  I'm thinking that I will make a few to swap too. (Hint, hint for all my fellow quote lovers- keep your eyes peeled!)

All of today's pieces have quotes from Godfather I & II.  Hey, I'm not called MafiosaGrrl for nothing.  All of them are stitched with black DMC onto white handkerchiefs.  The larger font uses 3 strands and the smaller font uses two strands.

Always a classic.  The good ol' Clemenza.

This next one is a bit obscure.  I made it for a friend, it's his favorite line in the first film.  It's after the baptism scene when all of the other bosses are killed.  Carlo is about to answer what happened to Sonny.  As Clemenza speaks from the backseat, Carlo knows he's going to get whacked.

And now, one of my favorite's lately.
Poor Fredo.
It's from Godfather II.  After Fredo broke Micheal's heart.

For your viewing pleasure, I've included the clip of this particular scene.
I know I shouldn't but I laugh my ass off at the line that I stitched up.

I have a bunch more in this series.  They take forever because of the font.  I'll share those when they're done.

In addition to a whole bunch of Mafia movies, I've got lots more in the works.  I've planned quote series from The Big Lebowski,  The Colbert Report, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Trailer Park Boys (Mrs. Evils there is a Rickyism in there with your name on it. well, not literally but you know what I mean.), just to name a few.  Then there's a ton of one-liners from random stuff.  I'm telling you, my quote list is mammoth.  And since it's not getting any smaller I have to start working on it!

What kinds of things do you like to quote?  Do you think it's annoying when people quote things often?  Do you have a favorite quote?

Thanks for looking and have a craftastic weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Top o' the Morning To You!

Hello all!  I hope that everyone had an enjoyable (safe) St. Patrick's Day.  Mine was great.  I feel like I must tell you that after last night I may have to change what I wrote in my 7 Random Things post.  I actually don't hate cabbage, not any more.

We visited one of our favorite pubs, conveniently located right up the street.  It's restaurant serves up traditional Irish grub like Kerry Pie and Bangers.  However, if you ask for anything other than Corned Beef on St. Paddy's Day you're likely to get laughed out of the place.  Because of it's long standing history as an eatery 'round these parts, it's not uncommon to see generation's of families dining together.  

A few weeks ago I noticed a little gem tacked to the bulletin board near the dartboards.  The old "draw a picture while you wait" tactic must have been employed while some hungry little diner was getting impatient.

Please excuse the horrible cellphone pic.

The first night I saw it I could not stop glancing over at it and smiling.  I knew then what had to be done.  I'm sure Dillon just thought I was an idiot, as did everyone else sitting near us at the bar when I proclaimed my love for it aloud.  Oh well, they just don't know a good thing when they see it.

Yesterday I whipped up a more lasting version of this masterpiece for my favorite Publicans down at The Black Rose.

I used DMC floss and crayon tinted the horse.  It's in a 12 inch wooden hoop.  This is the first time that I've displayed a piece in a hoop like this.  I must say, it's easy and I like it.  I didn't bother to cover the back.  I figured it's going to be hung in a bar, no one will care what the back looks like.  And Dillon was smart enough to point out that some drunk person will probably throw a dart or two at it anyways.

I love that the horse is blue, especially considering the kid had other colors.  That's why I adore kid's drawings, they are so unpretentious.  They aren't trying to be creative, they just are.

Plus, this horse looks pumped to have a nice pint of Guinness.

How about you, do you find inspiration in odd places?
Thanks for looking, have a creative day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Stuffed!

Years ago, Dillon painted an awesome picture of me.  I swear, I laugh every time I look at it.  I should probably look at it whenever I'm feeling a little down or angry.  Because I love it so much I decided to make it into a stuffie for him.  

I tried to make it as close to the original as possible.  I crayon tinted the body and used watercolors for the hair. Then I embroidered the features.  Originally, I was going to do all satin stitching however after spending about 8 hours on just the face I changed my mind.  So the rest is done with a simple back stitch, except for my name.  Part of me wishes I would have left it a rectangle because the shape is a bit awkward.  Oh well, I still love it.

Here I am, just lounging in one of my favorite chairs. 
I started to complain about my abnormally large facial features but Dillon said I should probably be more concerned about my shoulder joints.  I think he is right.  We joke that my one hand and face is so large because I'm leaning in to scold him, hence the pointing finger.  He's taking a figure drawing class at the present time, I told him that he should show his teacher that he already knows foreshortening.

 I backed it with some vintage denim material because it was tough yet festive.  Just like me!

I used three different colors in the eyes.  I combined two strands of dark blue, medium blue and sea-foam green to for a six strand floss.  I had contacts back then, but I might whip up some little cat eyed glasses for her me.  I haven't decided yet.

That's my name, don't wear it out.

I think that the shoes are my favorite part.  They remind me of The Witches... plain, sensible shoes.

With the awesome painting.

Yeah, so that's me all stuffed up.

Thanks for looking!  Have a craftastic day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Update!

Since the banner I gave away is officially hanging up in the home of the winner, I thought I would show you the final result.  As for the personalization, Katie had a simple request.  She just wanted it to say, "I can".  When she mentioned her favorite color was purple I knew exactly what I would do with it.


Yay for satin stitching!

Snaphot Fri....Sunday!

No, I'm not switching up the day, I just feel so guilty about missing Friday.

Another appearance from the '64 Tartan of UC Riverside.
(Click to enlarge the page.)
 Ok, so there are a few things that I find disturbing about this page.  Yep, pretty much every picture bothers me.  Considering that the higher education system here in California is experiencing a huge racism scandal, among other things, I thought this page was fitting.  I'm mean, look at it!  The guy in the suit looks worried to just be walking past the cop.  And this is the shot that makes it into the freakin' yearbook?  Wow.  That's pretty much all I can say.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hey! I was just talking about that!

In my last post I mentioned the Bayeux Tapestry.  An amazing work of art that I would love to see in person, it's also the reason that I chose to merge my two worlds- fine arts and hand crafts.

No longer would I hang my head in shame and try to hide my craftiness from my artsy friends.  I decided, screw the snobby people that say collages are juvenile or the people who turn their noses up at the thought of using fabric in their art.  They're just jealous because handing them a needle and thread would blow their mind, whereas in my case I could actually do something with it.  I realized that having a foot in both worlds added to my repertoire, it didn't take away from it.

Ok, now that I've gone on about my self realization moment, I'll get to the darned point.  Yesterday I opened my e-mail to find quite a gem.  Did you know that there is a site where you can make your own funny versions of the Bayeux Tapestry?  I certainly didn't.

Check it out!

Here we've got Horatio Caine in CSI: Miami.  (I'll admit I love the cheesiness of that show.  Sometimes there's nothing like vegging out to some cheese.)

And because someone always has to take it into the gutter.  If you don't understand this one that's a good thing.  Trust me, you don't want the full explanation.

So yeah, after referring to the priceless importance of the Bayeux Tapestry I share this ridiculousness with you.  What can I say, at times I'm a walking contradiction.
For the rest of the article, check out the Mental Floss Blog.  
p.s.  I tried to use their linked photos but they didn't work for these gems.  So, yeah I broke their rules.  :(

Have a craftastic day!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I was tagged by the lovely and talented Kira of Oops! I craft my pants.  That means I get to tell you guys seven random things about myself and then choose seven more people I wouldn't mind knowing a little more about.

Ok, away we go!

Uno-  I was born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York.  And despite the nearness to the border, I am definitely what you would call a stereo-typical New Yorker (I know some of you are thinking, "uh yeah, I wouldn't brag about that.)  I'm loud!  At times, a bit crass.   I'm a fast walker and a fast talker.  I'm highly opinionated and not afraid to show it.  Basically, everything you can think of except for the whole wearing black everyday thing.

p.s.  Oh yeah, I'm a Yankees fan too.  I hope we can still be friends.

Dos- I'm German and Irish.  I love potatoes and hate cabbage.  I'm also Native American- Cherokee.

Tres- I returned to crafting about 3 years ago after approximately a 10 year hiatus.  For some reason when you go to school for art, "they" try to convince you of the inadequacy of hand crafts.  While it's "kitschy" and "folksy", the "Crafty Cathy's" of the world are not and will never be "real" artists.  WTF?  I strongly disagree with this and have spent the last few years creating a balance in my life between the fine art world and the hand craft world.  To the chagrin of my teachers I love to incorporate things like embroidery into my projects.  Hey, the way that I look at it is professors love to go on about the importance of the Bayeux Tapestry but last time I checked that was still needlework.  So I don't know why they are so quick to put down the craftiness.

Cuatro- I love cooking and it shows (on my waistline).  I'm lucky that I have a man who also likes to cook but I honestly don't mind spending a few hours in the kitchen making the house smell good.  
Especially since we've got The Beast.  I love my stove so much.
Bonus confession:  While cooking I like to enjoy a glass of wine and listen to cheesy music, like the soundtrack to The Godfather or old school love songs.  Really, I am that silly.
 Here's a favorite of mine:

Cinco- Although, most of you folks probably found me because of my love for embroidery or ATCs, I am actually a painter.  Well, I should say I'm trying to be a painter.  I've used acrylics for years but would like to venture outside of my comfort zone and learn oils.  I haven't really shared that side of me on here, except for a sketch or two.  I think I'll change that.  Maybe it'll help me to be a bit more productive.

Seis- I love a nice, stiff drink.  My preferences come in spurts.  Sometimes I'm in a Jimmy the Gent kind of mood, wanting nothing but 7 and 7s.  Other times I feel like The Dude... White Russians all the way!  Nothing too foo-foo for me.  (Yes, I do liken many things in my life to movies.  I quote a few everyday.  At least a dozen times.  In this case, Goodfellas and The Big Lebowski.)

Siete-  And last but not least.  I love crime shows and movies.  Give me a First 48 or Law and Order marathon to stitch to (and the aforementioned cocktail) and I'll be happy.  In fact, I'm such an SVU junkie that the kitties, Natasha and Boris, were almost Benson and Stabler.  However, the man said that Natasha didn't seem like a Benson, that she wasn't feisty enough.  Oh well, maybe someday.

Mmmmmmm, Stabler.

Now it's my turn to pick!

Well, that was a lot!  Do you feel like you know me a little better?  Anything you want to know that I didn't address?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Snapshot Friday!

This has got to be one of my favorite photos in my collection.
Don't these gals look like pin-ups on vacation?  I love their Bermuda shorts and hats!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Posty Post.

Some cards I've received lately through Postcrossing.

I finally got a handmade one!  She really nailed it on this one with the pin-up.

I had never seen a tall, skinny card like this before.  I love it!

Lucky me!  Mail is the greatest!

Messy Pages.

A few more pages from TBOL (The Book on Love.)  They're messy and not so nice to look at, but it's my first art journal so I don't really know what I'm doing.  I have a hard time deciding what to put on the pages.  I know the whole point is to be free and just go for it, that's hard for me.  I'm getting over that though...quickly.
I decided that the whole book can't be about romantic love because I would go crazy.  (And it would probably turn out to be very cynical, lol.  Don't get me wrong, all that mushy stuff is fine and all, it's just not for me.  Especially when I'm in a bit of a funk.)  So, I'm going to include other stuff that I love- like paintings, books, and mobsters!

Do you keep an art journal?  Where do you find your inspiration from?  Do you find it's better to have a journal with a theme or just go with whatever you are thinking at the moment?

Anyhoo, thanks for looking!  I'll check back in later since I've been so lazy about blogging lately.