Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rainy Days are for Crafting

Wow! the rain has been never-ending lately. It just doesn't feel like summer without hearing kids at the pool next door and super sunny days. But, I'm not exactly complaining. I don't miss 100 degree heat and fried foliage.

With all the time indoors, I've spent a bit too much time staring at my house. It's definitely put me in the mood to redecorate my space. So, I recovered a lamp shade and made a couple of cushion covers. Its amazing how the small changes can make such a huge difference!

Recovering a lamp shade is super easy-- here's how I did it:
  • I used a paper bag and cut it so it was 1 large piece of flat paper (cut out the bottom portion) to make a pattern for the fabric/paper that I wanted to use.
  • I pulled my lampshade off my lamp-- luckily it is white and pretty plain (if you have pleats, or a designer fabric that would show through, carefully take off that layer, leaving the posts and under layer/lining on the shade).
  • I started on the bottom left of the paper and carefully rolled the lamp shade, marking the top and bottom with pencil on the paper bag as I rolled -- this shows you the shape and amount of fabric you will need. If you have a big shade, you may need to find a larger piece of paper or tape the bags together to form one piece.
  • After making it all the way around on the shade, I cut out my pattern that I had made
  • Using the pattern, I cut about 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the pattern so that there is fabric to wrap around the top and bottom edges of the shade. I also cut the fabric approx 3/4 inch longer than your template (for a nice clean seam).
  • Using Fabric glue (You could also use spray mount), I spread small amounts of the glue as I rolled the shade--carefully glue the fabric on, by placing the shade down on one end and rolling it slowly, smoothing out wrinkles and bubbles as I went-- similar to how I created the pattern.
  • Once I made it all the way around, I folded the fabric onto itself, making a clean neat edge to glue down for your seam.
  • For the top and bottom, I cut small slits around the edges around the top and bottom and applied more glue to wrap them into the inside of the shade, creating a nice round edge.

That was it! Pretty easy-- takes a bit of time, but much cheaper than a new lampshade, and if I wanted to go further, I could use trim to cover any imperfections I left at the top and bottom rims of the shade.

Being indoors so much has also inspired me. In the last couple of weeks I've been working on new designs that I want to test to print on fabric. It is a bit of a different process than some of the other items I print, but I have a real desire and interest in fabrics and wallpaper and hope that I can experiment with it enough to make a few designs I love. We'll see. I really want something fun and original that would actually turn into something else fun to buy or use.

Fingers crossed the rain stops soon!



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Craft- The Next Generation

Hello fellow crafters and craft supporters!
What's up this week? Well, speaking for myself I've had a crafty few days and yesterday I had a chance to pass on a little of my craftiness. When you were a kid did you know you were creative? Did someone open your eyes to the world of art and craft? I remember a project that I did in kindergarten. It was very simple really, but I loved it. Our objective was to take a large piece of construction paper and create a collage/mixed media piece using fabric, buttons, pipe cleaners and other little objects. I made a bunny. He was orangey and brown with green and mustard buttons all over. I used a lovely piece of vintage fabric (which at the time was not vintage) to fill his body and pieces of bric-a-brac to outline it. This was a really meaningful project for me (obviously) and to this day I can still see that bunny and somehow I'm still working with vintage fabrics, buttons etc.

A young friend of mine visited me in my studio yesterday. She's only 8 years old, but there is really something special about her. She describes herself as very creative and told me about how she's fascinated with the Mona Lisa. Well, that was just about all I had to hear. I invited her to join me for a few projects and my hope was to give her an outlet to express herself and explore various kinds of crafts. At the end of the day we had made several sculptures and partially completed a little dress and some embroidery. I'll be meeting with her again to complete the projects and I hope that I've been an encouragment to her.

Here's a fun project I came up with when I was about 8 years old....
Work on a metal or glass surface that is non-porous and easy to clean. Using markers (not perm) draw a circle or square onto the surface and fill it in with lots of color but not a specific design. Then squeeze regular white school Glue on top of the colored shape you've just made and using a cotton swap or your finger, mix it all around, but keep it in some sort of circular or squarish shape. You should see the colors from the marker mixing with the glue. The glue should be thick, maybe a 1/4 of an inch. When you're happy with the color you're done. Let it dry overnight and the next morning peel it off and punch a hole in it. You have a cute little pendant. It's a fun project for kids that is easy to wash up with soap and water.

That's all for now. Have a great week.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a blog.

Helloooo, Dallas! It is time to get to know your friendly neighborhood crafters. We're five DIY badasses with an agenda. We're all in The Dallas Craft Mafia for a reason: to promote our businesses and thus help each other rise to superstar status in the craft world. (we hope.)

We are also motivated to help those around us. We will hereby promote craftivism as a goal of the DCM- that is, volunteerism through crafting- within the group and beyond. We have selected a few programs with which we will volunteer our time and efforts to make our world a better place :)

We are going to accomplish a lot, and you will see more of us around!